New York Man Confesses to Attacking the Islamic Centre
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Jan 04, 3:25 pm
A 40-year old unemployed truck driver, who threw molotov cocktails at five places, including a Hindu temple and an Islamic centre, was upset at being denied entry to use bathroom and being thrown out of a convenience store.
Ray Lazier Lengend has been charged with arson, arson as hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the firebombings on January 1, police said here.
Lengend, a naturalised US citizen from Guyana, had confessed to attacking the five locations with firebombs over the weekend, citing personal grudges.
He was arrested after the police tracked down his car that was seen at the site of the attacks through surveillance cameras as well identified by a few witnesses, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
He first attacked the convenience store as he was upset because he was thrown out after being caught stealing a Starbucks bottle and milk last month.
In another incident, he targeted the wrong house on a street in Queens from where he said he had once purchased crack cocaine.
He attacked the Islamic centre as he was upset over being denied entry to use its bathroom.
He had even made “sweeping anti-Muslim statements”, against the Islamic centre.
He targeted a house in Elmont over claims of a familial problem.
His final attack was on a residence that housed a small Hindu temple as a person against whom he once had a grudge had lived there.
Lengend also claimed responsibility for three other firebombings against homes in Queens between December 26 and this week, which the police is now investigating.
The man had prior arrests for drugs, passing bad checks and weapons possession.
Authorities believe the man was kicked out of the convenience store on December 27 for trying to steal a glass Starbucks Frappuccino bottle and milk. Four of the five crude firebombs thrown at the various locations were made from glass Starbucks bottles, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said earlier Tuesday. The fifth likely was made from a beer bottle.
Witnesses reported the man made threats as he was escorted out, Kelly said.
“When they were pushing him out of the store, he said words to the effect that, ‘We’re going to get even. We’re going to get back at you,’” Kelly said.
No one was injured in any of the attacks, which wrought little or no damage at most of the sites.