Posted on November 5, 2021

Man Launches Molotov Cocktail Into A Brooklyn Bodega

Stephen M. Lepore, Daily Mail, November 1, 2021

A man who tossed a Molotov cocktail into a Brooklyn bodega after an argument, setting off an inferno that nearly killed the workers inside, was arrested as crime continues to plague the city.

Joel Mangal, 38, threw the explosive device inside the store after a verbal dispute with bodega employees, police told on Sunday.

Video released by police showed Mangal exiting the Nostrand Avenue deli around 8 a.m. on Saturday and then putting what appeared to be two Molotov cocktails on the sidewalk.

He lit one and threw it into the bodega, setting off a fireball that engulfed the store, the video shows. He was about to throw the second before it was knocked out of his hand by a witness.

The deli workers escaped the flames as Mangal fled on foot toward the Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue subway station. One of the employees chased after Mangal but was slashed on his right hand with a pocket knife by the arsonist, cops said.

One of the deli workers told CBSNewYork that the suspect was threatening ‘I’m gonna kill you.’

‘He was threatening, “I’m gonna kill you. I’m gonna burn the store. I’m going to burn the building down,“’ Mohamed Abdulla told CBS.

Firefighters, shorthanded from the fallout over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate, quickly arrived to put out the flames. One person at the scene needed provided medical treatment, officials said.

‘Fortunately, there was no loss of life here,’ said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. ‘The investigative work from the Explosives and Arson Task Force comprised of our Fire Marshals, the NYPD, and ATF, led to the timely arrest of this suspect who threatened the safety of our communities by using such a cruel and destructive device.’

Mangal was charged with three counts of arson, two counts of assault, attempted assault reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal mischief.

Throughout the city, felony assaults are up 7.7 percent from the same time last year, and misdemeanor assaults are up 6.1 percent.

According to the NYPD, the city’s overall crime rate is up just under one percent and it is up more in certain categories, such as assaults and rape, which are up 2.7 percent over last year.