Video of Uptown hotel arson suspect released

Graves Hospitality is building the Moxy Uptown at Lake & Emerson. Investigators are seeking information about an arson that took place July 23. Photo by Michelle Bruch

The Minneapolis Police Department released surveillance camera footage Thursday of a suspect in an Uptown arson over the weekend.

Fire crews were called to the under-construction Moxy Uptown at Lake & Emerson just after 4 a.m. Sunday. They found and extinguished two small fires that investigators later determined were intentionally set.

A video posted on the police department’s website shows what appears to be a man in shorts and a T-shirt running through an empty parking lot. Contrary to initial reports that indicated there was very little damage, the post states that the “fire caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.”

The “most costly damage was caused by smoke,” MPD Public Information Officer Scott Seroka wrote in an email.

Seroka referred further questions to Graves Hospitality, which is building the 124-room hotel. Sally Ableitner, the company’s director of sales and marketing, said confirmed most of the damage was caused by smoke, but said the “tens of thousands of dollars” figure given by police was a surprise, adding, “It seems high.”

“We did not hear anything that it was major damage, so I’m not sure where that information cam from,” Ableitner said. “It was minimal.”

Police request that anyone with information about the fire or the person in the video contact Sgt. Sean McKenna 673-3389.