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Lawless Now A Suspect In Fire At Family Owned Restaurant

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David Joseph Lawless (credit: Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office)

David Joseph Lawless (credit: Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office)

DENVER (CBS4)- A family-owned restaurant in Denver may be the latest target of a suspected serial bomber. The Urban Sombrero was badly damaged by an explosion in late June.

The restaurant’s general manager, Robert Greco, said David Lawless, the suspect in the Colorado Mills Boarders Book Store bombing, was a frequent customer who often was thrown out for causing trouble.

Lawless is suspected of planting explosive devices at the Borders Book Store at the Colorado Mills Mall in Lakewood on June 24. Investigators also said he is believed to be behind bombings at the Denver West Marriott and the Urban Sombrero.

“We didn’t know if it was an electrical fire or someone left a frier on,” said Greco. “To hear someone did that on purpose was pretty terrible.”

Investigators had someone in mind as to who might have torched the restaurant, but didn’t give many clues.

“Arson kind of told us, you’ll probably be seeing him on the news about a crime spree on the west side of town. I assumed it would have been the bombings. As soon as his face popped up, I knew, yup, that’s him,” said Greco.

Greco recognized Lawless as a one-time regular customer.

“He used to just come in and play poker when we would have free poker nights,” said Greco. “He always seemed a little off. About the third time he started getting real grabby with the girls that work with us and also the patrons. He always got a little extra drunk, little extra belligerent.”

It wasn’t long before Greco had to take action.

urban sombrero Lawless Now A Suspect In Fire At Family Owned Restaurant

Arson damaged the Urban Sombrero Bar & Grill in northwest Denver June 24. (credit: CBS)

“About the third time he came in, I started asking him to leave,” said Greco. “He would constantly come, I probably kicked him out six or seven times. And every time I’d kick him out, he’d argue and want to stay so bad.”

The fire did tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Greco is still fixing up the place.

Lawless faces federal charges of arson and use of a destructive device in the Borders Book Store incident. He has not been charged in connection with the explosion at the Urban Sombrero.

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