Man accused of setting downtown public restroom on fire 4 times

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The public restroom recently installed by the city of Austin at the corner of East Sixth Street and Red River Street was set on fire Tuesday morning.

An ambassador employed by the Downtown Austin Alliance to clean the restroom told police the suspect started two fires inside the restroom that morning and two fires in the restroom the previous morning, according to an arrest affidavit. The employee said on Monday, Jan. 15, just before 6 a.m., he went to clean the restroom but the door was locked and when the person inside came out, he noticed smoke coming from the restroom. The suspect, identified as Dewight Eric Crayton Jr., 32, returned a couple of hours later and started another fire, according to the witness.

On Tuesday, the same employee came to work and discovered Crayton in the restroom as a city employee was waiting to use the restroom. When Crayton came out, the employee noticed another fire on the floor of the restroom, causing further damage, according to the affidavit. Crayton ran away from the scene but returned two hours later where the employee said he started the fourth fire.

Crayton was arrested a few blocks over and charged with arson.

The city installed the free, public restroom in September. The restroom is open 24 hours a day and is funded by the transportation fund and the hotel occupancy tax.

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