NYC lawyers face federal charges for trying to firebomb NYPD vehicles
- 6.9K Views
Authorities have filed criminal complaints in federal court in New York City against three people for allegedly causing damage by fire and explosives to police vehicles outside a precinct in Brooklyn, including a pair of attorneys.
Colinford Mattis, 32, Urooj Rahman, 31, and Samantha Shader, 27 all face federal charges of using improvised explosive devices more commonly known as “Molotov cocktails” to damage and destroy NYPD vehicles, according to a statement from the Justice Department on Sunday, the Daily Caller reported.
Mattis, a corporate associate attorney at Pryor Cashman LLP located in Times Square, and Rahman, also a lawyer, with arrested around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning after police saw them on video surveillance allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at a police vehicle outside the NYPD’s 88th precinct, a federal complaint says.
The Daily Caller adds:
Mattis and Rahman were chased down by police after they observed the incident. During the arrest, police found items used to build a Molotov cocktail, including a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper, a liquid suspected to be gasoline, and a gasoline tank inside the tan minivan that Mattis was driving, according to the New York Daily News. Rahman was in the passenger seat.
“These defendants are charged with attacking the New YorkCity Police Department while itsPolice Officers are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all. No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at Police Officers and vehicles is justified.” Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said, according to the press release.
“The Eastern District of New York will do everything in its power to protect those who protect us all, and we will ensure that criminals who use the camouflage of lawful protest to launch violent attacks against Police Officers face justice.”
In a separate complaint, Samantha Shader, from upstate New York, faces charges after a witness video provided to police showed her allegedly lighting a Molotov cocktail and then throwing it at a police vehicle occupied by four officers.
The Justice Department said she later confessed to the incident. All four officers managed to escape the vehicle before it eventually ignited, reports noted.
If convicted, each of the suspects faces a minimum of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years.
“When you conduct a violent attack that breaks federal law, the FBI New York office, along with our NYPD and Department of Justice partners, will move with speed to hold you accountable. Behavior like the attacks charged here puts our entire community - protestors and first responders alike - in danger, and we will simply not allow it to go unaddressed. The consequences for conducting this alleged attack, and any similar activity planned for the future, will be severe,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.
Adds NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea: “Molotov Cocktails are violent tools of individuals looking to inflict harm and damage our city. Crimes like these are devastating to their targets and also to the protestors and their right to frees speech that police are working hard to protect. It is reassuring that the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn has taken this case. I’m confident that the severest penalties under the law will be sought.”