PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A prominent Pittsburgh protester was in court Thursday for arson-related charges after she allegedly tried to set two restaurants on fire.
On Thursday, all charges were held for court.
Nicky Jo Dawson is accused of trying to set both Pizza Milano and Cafe Milano on fire at the end of October.
In January of last year, she chanted alongside other protesters outside of Pizza Milano in Uptown when a former manager at the pizza shop got into a scuffle with a woman in an attempt to throw her out of the restaurant in.
The manager was later found not guilty. Customers vowed to boycott the pizza shop and wanted the business closed for good after the incident.
At the Cafe Milano on Sixth Street, police said Dawson set a trash can and paper from the paper towel dispenser on fire in the bathroom.
On top of that, the police said she also set fire to a stack of pizza boxes near the front of the restaurant.
In a surveillance video seen in court, Dawson is allegedly seen going into the women’s bathroom, coming out and going back in before smoke is seen coming from the bathroom.
As for the incident on Fifth Avenue at Pizza Milano in Uptown, police said a manager spotted Dawson set a cloth hanging out of a beer bottle on fire with a lighter as she was walking into the cafe’s kitchen, then threw it into a fryer filled with cooking oil.
The video of that incident was also shown in court.
While she did this, police say she said: “I want to see that place on fire.”
Dawson’s formal arraignment is scheduled for February.