Minneapolis man pleads guilty to arson that destroyed rental car business during May riots

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty Sept. 25 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
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Image from the late-May civil unrest in the Twin Cities. 

A 32-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to one count of arson connected to the burning of a rental car company during rioting that erupted days after the death of George Floyd. 

Matthew S. White entered the guilty plea Friday at the Minneapolis U.S. District Court, according to U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. White was initially arrested and charged on June 29. 

White admitted to entering the Enterprise Rent-A-Car business at 1161 University Ave. W. in St. Paul on May 28 and intentionally set a fire inside a back office, according to the federal document. He then fueled the flames by throwing paper and other flammable items into the fire. 

The rental car business was completely destroyed. 

White and a juvenile who was later connected to White as his nephew, were seen on surveillance video going in and out of the rental car company between 8:45 p.m. and 8:50 p.m., with the fire erupting inside the building during that time, according to the federal complaint.

White's sister was outside the building the entire time, but photos later confiscated from her phone revealed that she was with White and the child, who is identified in a federal complaint as her son, in both Minneapolis and St. Paul during the May 28 civil unrest. 

In one photo, a tattoo on White's arm matches one seen on the suspect accused of starting the fire at Enterprise.

All three individuals were the subject of a June 15 release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that offered a $5,000 reward to help identity them.

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