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Natalie White

Rayshard Brooks: Lawyer confirms alleged Wendy’s restaurant fire starter had ‘close relationship’ with man shot by police in parking lot

A woman suspected of intentionally starting a fire at an Atlanta Wendy’s fast food restaurant earlier this month has been apprehended, and according to her lawyer, she knew the man whose death sparked the protest.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, 29-year-old Natalie White was apprehended Tuesday afternoon by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit. She was booked on first-degree arson charges.

Atlanta authorities issued an arrest warrant for White for the torching of a southside Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant during protests after Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer in the parking lot.

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“She did know him,” White’s attorney, Drew Findling, told AJC. “They did have a close relationship.”

Findling reportedly added that White was not the person responsible for starting the fires and has no criminal record.

The fire incident spurred after Brooks had reportedly fallen asleep in his vehicle in the drive-thru on June 12, forcing other customers to drive around him. One of the customers contacted the police.

Now-former Atlanta officer Garrett Rolfe arrived at the scene, took Brooks out of his car, and administered a field sobriety test. Brooks reportedly failed a breathalyzer test.

When Rolfe tried to handcuff Brooks, things went from peaceful to chaotic.

A video of the incident showed Rolfe and another Atlanta officer, Devin Brosnan, struggling to detain Brooks. One of the officers deployed a Taser, which became the object of the struggle. Brooks wrestled the Taser away from the officer and ran with it across the parking lot.

FILE – This screen grab taken from body camera video provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows Rayshard Brooks speaking with Officer Garrett Rolfe, left, in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant, late Friday, June 12, 2020, in Atlanta. Rolfe, who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after the fleeing man pointed a stun gun in his direction, was charged with felony murder and 10 other charges, announced Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Rolfe was fired after the shooting. (Atlanta Police Department via AP)

The officers pursued. Brooks appeared to point the Taser at the officers. Rolfe fired three shots at Brooks. Two of the bullets hit Brooks in the back. Another bullet reportedly hit the vehicle of someone in the parking lot.

Brooks later died after emergency surgery.

Several people, including White,  are accused of torching the restaurant in protest of the shooting. No other suspects have been named at this time.

Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo: Surveillance photos of Natalie White/Atlanta Fire Rescue]