Pizza Man's owner reacts to jury's not guilty verdict in arson case
Keller Russell reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- More than two years after the fire that devoured his Pizza Man, it's hard for Mike Amidzich to talk about what he lost at the corner of Oakland and North Avenues.
Friday, more disappointment set in when a federal jury found Feras Rahman not guilty of arson. But, Amidzich said he's not surprised by the decision.
"I personally think he's guilty, but there's a lot of circumstantial evidence," said Amidzich. "The prosecution warned me and told me ahead of time arson is one of the hardest things to prove"
The fire in January of 2010 destroyed Rahman's business -- Black and White Cafe -- along with Pizza Man and several apartments above.
Amidzich owned the iconic Pizza Man.
Rahman walked out of court smiling, Friday.
"I feel good that justice is finally served, on my behalf," he said. "I hope it does get served on whoever did commit this crime, but I'm glad that it's not me."
Rahman still faces five years in prison for lying to law enforcement. "I'm not even worried about that right now. The big thing is I'm innocent of this arson."
Mike Amidzich believes investigators will not trace the crime to anyone else's hands
"It's like looking for O.J's (Simpson) actual murderer. There's no one else," said Amidzich.
But he's ready to bury memories of the painful blaze and bring Pizza Man back to life, in a new location.
"I'm really going to try and do it now. And I'm motivated to do it."
Amidzich said a business plan is in the works.
He's looking at the East Side, Third Ward and Bayview as possible locations.
Rahman will be sentenced in August.