SAN DIEGO — A businessman whose popular San Diego-based vegan food truck was destroyed last year in a fire — a loss he said was part of “a shocking series of hate crimes” directed at him — was charged Tuesday with arson and insurance fraud in connection with the blaze. 

Avonte Hartsfield, 26, pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court to allegations stemming from the fire, which gutted his Rollin Roots truck while it was parked outside his Kearny Mesa office on Oct. 3, 2021. 

Prosecutors allege Hartsfield set the fire “with the intent to defraud” and subsequently filed a fraudulent insurance claim, according to a criminal complaint. 

Read the entire news article.  The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 15, 2022, by Karen Kucher & David Hernandez 

NICB assisted the investigation.