Suspect In The Fire That Burned Down A Wendy’s During Protests Taken Into Custody

A Wendy’s restaurant is on fire during protests on June 13, where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police following a struggle in the restaurant’s drive-thru line in Atlanta.

Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Updated Wednesday at 7:45 a.m.

A woman authorities suspect in the fire that burned down the Wendy’s on University Avenue in southwest Atlanta has been taken into custody.

Natalie White, 29, was booked into the Fulton jail Tuesday, charged with first-degree arson, online jail records show.

The Wendy’s burned down during protests over the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks by now-former Atlanta police officer Garret Rolfe.

Police body-camera video showed Brooks, 27, and officers Rolfe and Devin Brosnan having a calm and cooperative conversation for more than 41 minutes. A struggle erupted when police tried to handcuff Brooks for being intoxicated behind the wheel of his car. Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard said neither officer informed Brooks that he was under arrest before this happened. In the struggle, Brooks grabbed one of the officers’ Tasers and fired it in their direction as he ran away.

Rolfe, 27, was charged with murder and jailed without bail. Brosnan, 26, was charged with aggravated assault, accused of stepping on Brooks’ shoulder as he lay dying on the pavement. Lawyers for both men said their clients’ actions were justified.

According to her lawyer, White is the same woman Brooks described to police on the night he was shot as his girlfriend.

The lawyer, Drew Findling, said she was distraught over Brooks’ death but was “absolutely not responsible for the fire,” saying the blaze was already underway when she was seen on video approaching the restaurant.

The news of White being taken into custody came as the funeral for Brooks was underway at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Mourners, including Bernice King, Stacey Abrams and others, gathered at a celebration of life service at the church Tuesday afternoon.