Last month, the now infamous Comet Ping Pong Pizza eatery made headline news again when an unidentified man intentionally set fire to the place. Thankfully, no one was harmed in the incident, but police have still been searching for the perpetrator for weeks.
Now, they’ve finally identified the culprit as 22-year-old Ryan Jaselskis. The suspect is reportedly a resident of California. He had been visiting the pizza place in D.C. on January 23rd just before the fire broke out. Surveillance footage clearly showed the suspect leaving the scene in a unique varsity-style jacket that also connected him to other crimes.
According to police, the same suspect had been illegally trespassing around the Washington Monument at least twice in the same exact jacket. That’s how authorities eventually identified him. They looked back at arrest reports coming from the U.S. Park Police describing how he had been trespassing and fighting with officers at the time. A bystander had recorded the incident and uploaded it to YouTube. An officer was eventually forced to use a stun gun to subdue Jaselskis. At the time, he was charged with assault on an officer and unlawful entry. He was later released from custody.
Police told Jaselskis to stay away from the monument, but he returned again the following day. Again, he was arrested wearing the iconic jacket.
Incredibly, Jaselskis faces up to 20 years in jail on the arson charge alone if he is found guilty. It remains unclear what the suspect’s motive was in this crime or why he was attempting to break into the Washington Monument.