New York firebomb suspect arraigned

Friday, January 6, 2012


A bottle of Frappuccino similar to the bottles used for the Molotov cocktail.
Image: RandomGuy666.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

A man accused of 5 arsons in New York State, United States was arraigned at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan yesterday. 40 year-old Ray Lazier Lengend is facing eighteen charges relating to four fires in Queens and one attempted fire in Nassau County. The alleged motive behind the attacks was to kill "as many Muslims and Arabs as possible". He is currently being held at Bellevue for psychiatric evaluation.

On January 1, officials said, Lengend used Molotov cocktails made with pre-made Starbucks Frappuccino bottles. He used a stolen Buick Regal to carry out the attacks. The fires took place at a 179th Street deli, the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, a Hindu temple, and a private home. He also tried to incinerate his brother-in-law's home in Elmont. Besides the religious motive, he attacked the deli because they kicked him out for shoplifting milk and Frappuccino. No one was hurt in any of the attacks. They said Lengend claims he also set fire to a Jeep and two other homes.

Police say that he had intended to attack the Islamic center first, but was deterred by nearby officer presence. Originally, he wanted to go to a balcony and throw the bombs at people at the Islamic center. He also thought that the private home he damaged in Queens was a drug den. "He had a variety of motives that he stated. He's all over the lot and obviously his mental capacity is being examined now." said, Raymond Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner.

Lengend's brother-in-law, 73 year-old Bejai Rai, says that Lengend was disturbed. In a comment to the Daily News, Rai said, "He had a vendetta against us. He tried to kill my wife, my two sons and my sister. I’m glad they got him otherwise he’d be back to firebomb us again."