Courtesy Decatur Police

Decaturish reports that Decatur Police have issued an arrest warrant for Rickey Hodges Thomas, a former employee of Java Monkey who now stands accused of starting the fire that heavily damaged the coffee house and adjacent businesses on Nov. 11.

Thomas, who will be charged with first degree arson, is 28, approximately 5’10 and 162 pounds. Anyone with information should contact Decatur Fire investigator Kevin Rice at or call (678) 553-6587.

The owners of Java Monkey had suggested in a Facebook post that arson might have played a role in the fire. The owners have said they plan to rebuild and reopen sometime next year.

In the meantime, the long-running poetry open mic held at the venue every week for the past 17 years has relocated to 7 Stages Theatre in Little Five Points. The event, hosted by award-winning poet Theresa Davis, begins at 8 p.m. every Sunday night.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.