HOLLYWOOD— A man was indicted on an arson charge for allegedly setting fire to a Hollywood pizza restaurant in May during the many protests in Los Angeles. 

Mario Ernesto Alvarado, 42, of Sylmar, was charged in a federal grand jury indictment with one count of arson on Tuesday, August 4. Alvarado allegedly set fire to Hollywood’s Pizzeria Mozza restaurant in May during many protests taking place across Los Angeles in response to the killing of George Floyd.

On May 30, Alvarado allegedly walked into a commercial building in Hollywood that housed Pizzeria Mozza and its related business, Mozza2Go. Once inside, Alvarado is said to have poured a flammable liquid on the restaurant floor and set it on fire, according to the indictment. As a result to the fire, $500,000 in structural damage to the shop was caused, according to arson investigators. An additional $50,000 in fire damage to restaurant merchandise and property occurred as well. No staff or customers were inside the restaurant at the time of fire, as the restaurant and shop were closed due to a curfew order placed on the city of Los Angeles in response to the many protests.

At the end of June, the FBI and the LAPD released a press release asking for help in identifying the arsonist(s) involved in the restaurant blaze. Alvarado was identified by a member of the public as one of the alleged arsonists.

His arraignment is scheduled for August 10 in United States District Court. Alvarado was arrested on July 16 but was set free on $25,000 bond. If convicted, Alvarado could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.