A man burned down an office complex in Utah because he was obsessed with one of the business’s owners, according to numerous sources.
Alex Kentish Tuita, a 37-year-old resident of West Valley City, used to be a client of the Salt Lake City massage parlor before getting banned by its owner, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Tuita admitted to setting the fire on June 13 using a jar of gasoline and a lighter before he fled back to his car “without looking back,” a probable cause statement said, the New York Post reported. The fire caused more than $2 million in damages, and completely destroyed the three-story business complex where the massage parlor was located, according to KSL-TV.
Tuita was charged with three counts of aggravated arson and two counts of stalking Wednesday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Prosecutors say a West Valley man obsessed with the owner of a business who has a history of stalking the owner of a second business in the same Sugar House complex intentionally started a fire that burned down both businesses and more than 20 others. https://t.co/L7kehmmr9H
— KSL (@KSLcom) June 24, 2021
The extent of the estimated damages to the 25 businesses based out of the building is still unknown, while the fire also damaged a nearby home and duplex, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. No one was hurt or killed by the blaze because the office building was empty at the time, and the residents of the homes where the fire spread managed to escape, The Salt Lake Tribune noted.
“He was not concerned about whether people could be hurt,” investigators said of Tuita, who admitted he “crossed boundaries” by contacting the first massage parlor owner, according to the New York Post.
Prior to setting the fire, Tuita was apparently stalking the owner and sending her “inappropriate things” via text, the probable cause statement reportedly claimed. He also admitted to creating fake Instagram profiles of her because he was “obsessed” and would challenge her fiancée to fights, the probable cause statement reportedly said. (RELATED: Wife Lit Husband On Fire Because He Wanted A Divorce, Charged With ‘Mayhem’)
Other court documents revealed that the massage parlor owner was seeking a civil injunction against Tuita for his behavior, which marks at least the second time a massage parlor owner has tried to get a civil injunction against Tuita. A massage parlor owner at Ashton Offices got a civil injunction against Tuita in 2018, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Tuita remains held without bail after prosecutors pointed out how he was “motivated by revenge,” as well as the threats he has levied against the massage parlor owner in the past, the New York Post reported.