Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday indicted a man on charges of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Bedford-Stuyvesant bodega, setting the place ablaze and causing massive amounts of damage to the premises.
Flatbush resident Joel Mangal, 38, is being held on $500,000 bail for the Oct. 30 incident, which prosecutors allege was an attempted murder of two employees at the deli on Nostrand Avenue at Halsey Street. He is being charged with attempted murder, arson, assault, and aggravated harassment.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez alleges that at 6:40 am on Oct. 30, Mangal threatened to kill the bodega’s employees and burn down the store, and then threw an apple at one of them, breaking a television. An hour later, he allegedly lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it into the bodega.
Surveillance video released by the FDNY showed the explosive appear to be thrown directly at the deli counter, where two employees were working the morning shift.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced today that Fire Marshals have arrested Joel Mangal, 38, for the alleged use of improvised incendiary devices, commonly known as “Molotov Cocktails,” that resulted in the destruction of a Brooklyn deli. Read more: https://t.co/bjQy9e8LOU pic.twitter.com/gUGLxke3wG
— FDNY (@FDNY) October 31, 2021
The Molotov explodes on impact and creates an enormous inferno engulfing the counter. Both men at the store managed to escape, but one had to run directly through the flames and had his clothes catch on fire.
Mangal allegedly tried to throw a second Molotov into the store but was stopped by a passerby, who knocked the device to the ground resulting in a sidewalk inferno, per surveillance video. At that point, Mangal escaped on foot heading towards the Nostrand Avenue A/C subway stop.
The deli employees chased Mangal into the station, where one of them was allegedly stabbed in the hand by the assailant, before they notified a cop and had him arrested.
“Thankfully, this frightening attack did not lead to more serious injuries, but this kind of lawlessness is dangerous and requires an appropriate law enforcement response,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice and hold him accountable.”