Man Arrested In Connection With McDonald’s Arson in 2003

New Jersey resident Chris McIntosh, 22, was arrested this month and charged with setting a fire Jan. 20, 2003 that caused about $5,000 in damage to a Seattle-area McDonald’s.

Shortly after the McDonald’s arson, someone called a crime tip line claiming the arson in the name of the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. The caller said,

There was an E-L-F-A-L-F hit at McDonald’s across from the Space Needle. There will be more. The fire was set on the ‘M.’ Four gallons of gas. There was a broken lock, not cut. Broken. There will be more. As long as Mother Earth is pillaged, raped, destroyed. As long as McDonald’s keeps hurting our furry brothers, there will be more.

Prosecutors say that fingerprints and DNA evidence found on a can of spray paint and sunglasses left at the scene of the crime match McIntosh’s. McIntosh had been arrested numerous times before in several states including Oregon, California, Wisconsin and Illinois, and his name turned up quickly after the FBI ran his prints through their criminal database.

McIntosh’s former girlfriend, Maria Gardner, told police that McIntosh set that fire and that she acted as a lookout during the fire. Another woman he dated, but who is unnamed in the affidavit against him, told the FBI that McIntosh bragged about the McDonald’s fire to her in February 2005.

Additionally, McIntosh apparently used his brother David’s name as an alias, and a Seattle-area youth centers’ records show a “David McIntosh” stayed at the center in January 2003, including the period during which the fire was set (McIntosh, in fact, was using “David McIntosh” as an alias when he was arrested).

McIntosh was arrested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after police there received a tip that he may have been in the area. He will be brought to Seattle by federal authorities, and if he is ultimately convicted, he could face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

The full text of the affidavit filed against McIntosh can be read here.


McDonald’s blaze suspect held. Christine Frey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 17, 2005.

New Jersey Man Arrested In 2003 Arson At Seattle Mcdonald’s Restaurant. Press Release, United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington, February 16, 2005.

Man charged with arson in 2003 fire. Danielle Camilli, Burlington County Times, February 18, 2005

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