News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Jan. 5, 2012: A 40-year-old Guyanese man, who allegedly unleashed a scary New Year’s Day firebombing spree on five buildings, has been charged with hate crime.
Ray Lazier Lengend has been charged with one count of arson as a hate crime, four counts of arson and five counts of criminal possession of a weapon. He could face additional counts of arson if investigators corroborate his confessions to three earlier attacks, the NY Daily News said.
Lengend will also have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before facing a judge, the paper cited sources as saying.
The unemployed truck driver allegedly used a Starbucks Frappuccino bottle as a Molotov cocktail in a string of New Year’s Day arson attacks at an Islamic cultural center and four other sites where he had personal grievances, police said.
Police spokesman Paul Browne said Lengend made statements implicating himself in the attacks. He reportedly had personal grievances with each targeted location. Crude firebombs were tossed at the convenience store, two homes in Queens, a home in nearby Nassau County and the Islamic center.
Authorities believe Lengend was kicked out of the convenience store on Dec. 27 for trying to steal a glass Starbucks Frappuccino bottle and milk. Four of the five firebombs thrown at the various locations were made from glass Starbucks bottles, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The fifth likely was made from a beer bottle.