The feds arrested Micah Tillmon, 19, a West Hills man. on federal charges alleging he started a fire that substantially damaged the Sake House by Hikari in Santa Monica on May 31. The feds have charged Tillmon one count of arson, a felony offense that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years. Apparently, security video from the restaurant showed Tillmon removing “a red tube-shaped object from his jacket, which he placed behind the reception desk area of the restaurant before walking away. Within seconds of that action, smoke and fire appeared from the area….” Santa Monica Fire Department Investigators determined that the fire was caused by red object that Tillmon allegedly placed in the restaurant, which is at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 4th Street.
Santa Monica Police Department detectives identified Tillmon after reviewing numerous security videos and social media posts. Investigators also found a video showing his white Ford Explorer parking next to the Sake House four minutes before the fire started and then reversing across the street soon after the fire started, The same video allegedly shows the Explorer parking about 500 feet away from the Sake House, and Tillmon exiting the vehicle and looting a nearby business.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.