PD: Man on meth sets fire to Tempe Starbucks

Posted at 11:40 AM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 16:54:28-05

TEMPE, AZ — A man on meth set fire to a Starbucks in Tempe, causing over $10,000 in damage.

Tempe police report that on November 17, they responded to a call at a Starbucks near Scottsdale and McKellips road. Inside, Gabriel William Catania, 24, locked himself in the bathroom and was screaming and breaking items.

Soon after, police reportedly saw flames and smoke coming from under the bathroom door, followed by flowing water. Police then broke the lock with a sledgehammer and entered the bathroom.

After taking Catania into custody, they allegedly found drug paraphernalia in his possession. Catania reportedly admitted to smoking meth a couple of days before and believed he was being followed.

Court records show that he began throwing items and setting fire to paper towels and toilet paper to "create a distraction."

Police say the water damage to the Starbucks is at least $10,000. The store has since been closed to undergo repairs.

Catania has been charged with burglary, reckless burning, and criminal damage.