During the Anime Los Angeles convention yesterday, things became a little hot… literally. An arson attack was carried out in the parking lot of Azure Hotel & Suites in Ontario early Sunday morning, according to ABC news. Hulk Lugan, one of the witnesses, described what he saw:
All of the sudden, alarms went off and we’re like what’s going on? So we go outside and all of the sudden there’s flames everywhere on three of these cars. It was insane…one of the people we actually know – one of their cars is completely melted.
Even the Anime Los Angeles convention tweeted about it:
To any and all attendees: please avoid the parking lot where the fire took place. Police and fire fighters are currently handling the situation.
Stay safe and be careful
— Animé Los Angeles 16 (@AnimeLosAngeles) January 13, 2019
However, it was mentioned by the night manager of the hotel that “a man walk up to the main vehicle, pour two cans of gasoline all over it and then he flicked a match on it. The manager said the match didn’t start the fire, so the man in the video then pulled out his lighter to set the vehicle ablaze.”
It has since come to light (excuse the pun), according to Kotaku, that the owner of the car that was targeted was one of the cosplayers, Julia Moreno Jenkins. She and her husband recognised the man shown in the surveillance footage of the incident as a stalker that has been obsessed with her for a while. Jenkins had also informed Kotaku that the man had been arrested after they had identified him.
Jenkins has sinced placed a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of the damage caused by the stalker. It is unknown at this point whether the owners of the other six cars have taken similar action, or if their insurance would cover these costs, but it just goes to show that not even cosplays are safe these days…
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