Report: Java Monkey Coffee House arson suspect is in custody

Rickey Thomas

A fired employee accused of burning down Decatur’s Java Monkey Coffee House last November is in custody, according to a report from Decaturish.

Rickey Thomas was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on April 1, according to court records. A manhunt had been underway for Thomas, who investigators said was making harassing phone calls and threatening to burn down the coffee house after his employment was terminated.

Thomas was identified by the owners of Java Monkey after he was spotted on surveillance video behind the business on Nov. 11 carrying a stick-like item and investigators discovered a broken window.

The fire destroyed the interior of Java Monkey and damaged neighboring businesses on Church Street. The owners are rebuilding the coffee house, but have not announced a re-opening date.

Java Monkey was internationally known for its Sunday night poetry open mic, which had been a fixture for 17 years. Java Speaks, hosted by Theresa Davis, temporarily moved to 7 Stages in Little Five Points but has returned to Decatur taking up residence at The Pinewood.

 

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