Austin Police detain prominent Local Businessman on Arson Charges

Austin, TX: Criminal allegations including arson and burglary led to the Thursday arrest of a well-known Austin businessman and founder of Continental Automotive Group (CAG).

Dorsey started The 75-year-old Bryan Hardeman is the subject of an arrest complaint alleging that he set fire to a structure in downtown Austin on Sunday.

The Austin Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 400 Nueces St., which had previously been Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, on February 25, according to the affidavit.

Fire investigators decided the blaze was incendiary after it was out, and they discovered metal shavings beneath the door, which led them to believe someone had drilled out the lock, according to records.

According to the affidavit, fire investigators reviewed footage from the building’s security system, which revealed an elderly man entering the structure with a red container that appeared to be a plastic gas tank.

According to the affidavit, various cameras installed within the building saw a guy emptying the contents of a red container while simultaneously tossing matches onto the floor.

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According to the records, the man’s vehicle was a white 4-door Mercedez SUV. The proprietor of Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop revealed that he was also the neighboring property owner and had inquired about buying 400 Nueces St.

Hardeman was named as a suspect in two separate arson investigations relating to fires that occurred five days earlier on February 20, according to the documents.

The case’s witness, who testified “with 100% certainty” after seeing the car in the CCTV footage, was a key witness. The photo appeared to show the same individual exiting the building with a red container, according to investigators.

A Mercedes-Benz dealership is one of six in Austin, two in San Juan, and one in Dallas that are part of CAG, according to the company’s website.

The individual’s bond amounts for the arson accusation are $40,000 and for the burglary offense, they are $10,000, as recorded in the Travis County jail records.

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