Suspected Cosplay Stalker Destroys Seven Cars During Anime Con [Update]

Image: ABC News
Image: ABC News

A suspected arson attack, allegedly carried out by an “obsessed stalker”, has torched seven cars in the parking lot of a hotel where Anime Los Angeles attendees have been staying over the weekend.

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The incident took place early on Sunday morning, just before 2am. The night manager of the Azure Hotel & Suites in Ontario, California told ABC News that surveillance footage “showed a man walk up to the main vehicle, pour two cans of gasoline all over it and then [flick] a match on it”.

That car belonged to cosplayer Julia Moreno Jenkins, who says her vehicle was “targeted and set on fire by an obsessed stalker”. Once it was in flames, the fire then spread to nearby cars. As a precaution, the hotel was evacuated.

The Azure is listed as one of the “official” hotel partners of the con, and was packed with guests attending Anime Los Angeles, which was itself held at the nearby Ontario Convention Centre.

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ABC reports that the cars “were partially melted and charred”, while Jenkins’ vehicle was towed away for investigation.

Jenkins tells Kotaku the suspect—already known to her—has now been arrested after she and her husband were able to identify him on the hotel’s CCTV footage.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help cover the costs of replacing Jenkins’ car.

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UPDATE 12:37am: Story updated to include information about the suspect.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

OF COURSE it’s some dude targeting a woman.