SAN JOSE, Calif. - An arson incident targeting a sushi restaurant in downtown San Jose has left local business owners worried about their safety.
The incident occurred in early Tuesday morning in the downtown restaurant corridor. Cameras captured the moment an arsonist attempting to burn down Sushi Confidential.
The suspect scaled a fence, broke lights, and took a lighter to the stage. Within minutes, the back patio was ablaze.
"He immediately got panicked, ran over here, and broke through the glass doors utilizing a fire extinguisher," said owner Randy Musterer.
In his haste, the man left behind a fanny pack and a hat.
Neighboring bars and eateries have expressed concerns that this occurrence is part of a dangerous pattern of break-ins and vandalism downtown.
"I think just because of the lack of police presence, people feel like they can do what they want, or lawless behavior is more normal than it should be," said David Mulvehill, a partner in O'Flaherty's Irish Pub.
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said addressing these issues is a priority. Plans are in motion to bolster police patrols and the presence of community service officers, along with enhancing street lighting throughout the city.
Mahan stated, "I want them to know that city hall supports them, and we're going to do everything we can to ensure that downtown is safe and vibrant and clean. And we've made a lot of progress."
Despite the setback, Sushi Confidential remains resolute in maintaining a positive outlook. The owner acknowledged that the fire's impact was contained to a limited area and has not significantly affected business operations.
"Just seeing the support from our customers, the community I mean it's so tremendous. It's amazing so that gives me the energy to be able to shake it off," said Musterer. He added,"It's just going to take time to turn this around."
While investigators have garnered leads in the case, no arrests have been made at this time.