Police: Owner of Jerusalem Restaurant charged with arson

CINCINNATI - There was only one victim in Sunday night's explosion that destroyed Jerusalem Restaurant in Clifton Heights, and now he's been charged with arson, according to police documents.

Aiman Arabeiat, owner of the restaurant, was arrested Thursday after investigators say he allegedly caused the blast that destroyed his business.

According to witnesses, the incident knocked the front door off and glass exploded from the store's windows.

Police say the explosion happened just as Arabeiat opened the front door to enter the restaurant. He suffered burns, injuries to his head and lungs from breathing in hot fumes.

Arabeiat's son was with him at the time of the explosion and drove him to the hospital.

Workers at nearby stores say the restaurant had closed because of financial problems.

Friends of Arabeiat say he closed down to remodel after plans to sell the business fell through.

Arabeiat was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon and transported to the Hamilton County Justice Center. However, justice center officials said they would not be able to treat him properly due to his medical condition so he was given a sheriff's release and taken to his home.

Arabeiat's attorney was in court on his client's behalf Friday morning and asked for a continuance. Judge Cheryl Grant agreed and continued the case until Monday morning.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.

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