Published On: Sun, Jun 10th, 2012

South Tampa Thai restaurant torched, owner’s stepson charged with arson

Tampa Fire Rescue rushed to the scene of a two-alarm fire Tuesday to find a popular South Tampa eatery and market engulfed in flames.

Thai Market and Kitchen

The charred remains of the Thai Market and Kitchen Photo: The Global Dispatch/Robert Herriman

The establishment that stood for decades, the at 3325 S. Dale Mabry, just north of El Prado Blvd, stands today as charred remains and rubble.

A man was seen running from the scene of the restaurant wearing gloves and carrying a black backpack. Police soon caught the suspect.

WTSP.com reported at the time  that  investigators say it was clearly arson. They say the fire was started in multiple locations to conceal a robbery.

The bizarre twist to this story was the arsonist. Arrested is 34-year-old James Nettles, the estranged stepson of Thai Market and Kitchen owner, Judy Rolison.

Nettles, who after 14 years, showed up seeking help a few weeks ago according to John Merritt, Rolison’s son.

Merritt explained the situation to TBO.com saying that his mom helped Nettles as much as she could, even giving him a place to stay. “I am dumbfounded,” Merritt said.

Nettles was charged with arson, burglary and resisting arrest without violence. In addition, he also was charged with violating his probation on a pair of 2011 burglary and grand theft charges. Florida Department of Corrections records list him as an absconder. He was sentenced in January to four years probation.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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