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Queens Man Charged With Series Of Firebomb Attacks

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TWC News: Queens Man Charged With Series Of Firebomb Attacks
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Authorities said a Queens man confessed Tuesday to five recent firebomb attacks in Queens and Long Island and he is now facing charges including arson as a hate crime.

Ray Lazier Lengend, 40, seen above, is facing a total of one count of arson as a hate crime, four other counts of arson and five counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Police believe Lengend was caught on surveillance video throwing a Molotov cocktail at a house on 170th Street where Hindu services took place late Sunday.

Similar attacks also took place late Sunday at a private home on 107th Avenue, the Imam Al-Khoie Islamic Center on the Van Wyck Expressway and a bodega on Hillside Avenue.

A fifth attack happened across the border of Queens, in front of a house in Elmont, Long Island.

Lengend was taken into custody at about 8 a.m. Tuesday and made statements implicating himself in the attacks, according to police.

Police said Lengend had "personal grievances" with each targeted location, and law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Lengend claimed he was denied use of the Islamic center's bathroom.

They also said Lengend made anti-Muslim statements.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Lengend was kicked out of the bodega for allegedly trying to steal milk and a Starbucks Frappuccino drink.

Witnesses said they heard Lengend spout threats as he was removed from the bodega.

"He said words to the effect of 'We're going to get even, we're going to get back at you.' Now in four of the five attacks these Starbucks Frappuccino bottles were used," said Kelly.

"Whether it was senseless violence or a hate crime will be determined down the road. But in either case we're just not going to tolerate it in this city. And fortunately the number of incidents like this are very low, but one is one too many," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Police said the suspect was tracked down through the license plate of a vehicle seen in surveillance footage and described by witnesses.

While dozens of worshippers were present in the Islamic center at the time of the attack, and small children were also in the targeted houses, no one was injured in the firebombings.

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