JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — The suspect in the Mulligan's Beach House Bar & Grill arson that damaged the Jensen Beach restaurant has been arrested, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
"We have no idea who he is and we hope he get the help he needs," said owner George Hart. "We forgive. You know, I know he's got issues."
The popular restaurant caught fire early Sunday. The sheriff's office posted on Facebook that the restaurant, located at 2019 NE Jensen Beach Blvd., suffered significant damage.
Deputies obtained video of the scene where the suspect, Godwin Miller, 48, is seen spray-painting the restaurant and then setting fire to some outdoor patio umbrellas.
"Thank God the fire didn't go down to the end tiki huts and then go out to the patio," said Hart. "We got very lucky and I give all that credit to the fire department. They were there quickly, extinguished quickly and saved our restaurant."
Deputies said Miller also vandalized another establishment not far from the first scene, smashing out at least six windows at that business.
Investigators tracked Miller down and the search led them to St. Lucie County, where deputies said Miller had been recently arrested on an Alabama warrant.
"We don't have a real connection," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. "We know that when our detectives went to the jail today in St. Lucie County to interview him, he went on some kind of tirade about end times, about biblical stories, so it was hard to tell."
Deputies said Miller is a transient and a fugitive from justice from Alabama who made his way to the Treasure Coast to avoid registering there as a sex offender.
It's not clear how long Miller has been in Florida.
Detectives said Miller confessed to the arson and vandalism.