Monday, January 2, 2012

Queens Molotov Cocktail Attacks Are Possible Hate Crimes

Police are investigating a series of Molotov cocktail attacks in Queens as possible hate crimes.

They say the first cocktail was thrown at a bodega on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica around 8 p.m. and it damaged the store's counter.

Fewer than 10 minutes later, a second call came in about a homemade firebomb being thrown at a house on 107th Avenue.

Just before 9 p.m., police say a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center along the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica, starting a fire and damaging the front door.

A minister says an event was taking at the center when the bottle was thrown.

"Around 85 or 100 people inside. Actually some of the people were downstairs, so not everyone, just a few people saw the light, the fire," said Maan al Sahlani, the minister of religion at Imam Al-Khoei.

The last call came in around 10:45 p.m., when police say two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a home on 170th Street where Hindu services take place.

Police say a glass Starbucks Frappucino bottle was used in at least three of the incidents.

No one was hurt in any of attacks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the superintendent of State Police and the deputy secretary for Public Safety to help in the investigation, if needed.

In a statement, Cuomo said, "The four reported attacks on Sunday night go against everything we stand for as New Yorkers and Americans. Attacks such as this have no place in our open and inclusive society and we must do all we can to ensure New York remains a safe and tolerant place for all. I am thankful that there were no reported injuries."

Anyone with information on the cases should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

By: NY1 News

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