Tulsa business man arrested for arson

Monday, August 2nd 2004, 5:48 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa businessman is in the Tulsa County jail after setting fire to his competition.

Tulsa Police say witnesses called in a report of a suspicious man driving around the parking lot of the Rose Bowl at 7419 East 11th Street just before midnight. When officers arrived, they found Michael Sparks trying to leave. Officers say he gave a bogus story when they questioned him, but was quick to tell the truth when they found a pesticide container used to start the fire.

Tulsa Police officer Craig Lagrone: "I asked him what was in it, and he said there was gasoline in it. And then he proceeded to tell us the story that he was going to burn down the Rose Bowl. Or set the Rose Bowl on fire because they were his competition and they were taking business away from him.”

The fire only caused minor damage. But police believe Sparks is responsible for another fire at the Rose Bowl on July 1st.

Officials say Sparks, who now owns Mickey's Bowling Alley in Eastland Mall, had at one time, owned the Rose Bowl before he sold it to the AMF Corporation.