Man accused of setting fire to Monongahela businesses taken into custody

A man is behind bars facing multiple charges after police say he intentionally set fire to Main Street Tavern early Friday morning.

PHOTOS: Main Street Tavern gutted in early morning fire

Hunter McMahon is charged with arson, reckless burning, aggravated assault of an officer, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness.

Only Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek was there as police escorted him to his arraignment hearing.

“Hunter, did you start those fires?” Havranek asked McMahon.

“No sir,” McMahon responded.

Police say McMahon first set fire to a dumpster behind the Great Wall Chinese restaurant, and then the Main Street Tavern just a few buildings away.

McMahon claimed it wasn’t him.

“So, you didn’t start those fires?” Havranek asked.

“I’d like to see the video of it...And then I’ll, you know,” McMahon said.

But, police say it was McMahon who set the fires.

According to the criminal complaint, McMahon was harassing officers and firefighters as they responded to the fire at Main Street Tavern.

Police said he left the scene for five minutes but came back and caused a disturbance.

Police said he started running, and they tackled him to the ground.

Two lighters fell from his pockets.

He also allegedly kicked an officer in the face.

“If you’ve got video, I’d like to see it,” McMahon told Havranek.

Police said there is video from Main Street Tavern showing McMahon starting the fire.

“I’m pretty bummed out,” said David Ekves, the owner of Main Street Tavern.

He got the call that his bar was on fire just after 6:30 a.m. Friday. He doesn’t understand why this happened to his business.

“Why? I never did anything to anybody,” Ekves said.

He and some friends and family started the cleanup process Friday.

He’s thankful for the quick action of firefighters to get the fire out and police for arresting McMahon.

As for whether or not he’s going to reopen?

“I can’t wait to get rebuilt and get going again,” Ekves said.

McMahon is being held in the Washington County Prison on a $250,000 bond. He’s due back in court on March 20.

There will be a benefit for Main Street Tavern on Saturday, March 30, from 3 to 9 p.m. at Rippel’s on the Creek event facility.

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