Officials say NYPD officers attempted to pull over a 2000 Lincoln Towncar driven by Lionel Virgile, 44, after he ran a red light at Clarendon Road and East 45th Street in East Flatbush just before 8 a.m.
They say Virgile threw a liquid chemical, possibly bleach or peroxide, in the face of an officer as he approached the car, and then drove off.
When cops in Brooklyn stopped a car this AM for running a red light, the driver threw a chemical at our officer before speeding off. Stopped again, the driver threw a lit Molotov cocktail at cops & fled before crashing. The man was arrested & more Molotov cocktails were recovered pic.twitter.com/gQPrADEKJI— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 17, 2021
Police charged Virgile with possession of a destructive weapon on Saturday night.
Police released shocking body camera footage that shows the moment Virgile went completely out of control.
According to authorities, a chase ensued, and cops pulled behind the car. Virgile then threw a Molotov cocktail at the patrol car which bounced off the vehicle.
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As Virgile attempted to flee the scene, he crashed into a parked vehicle at 5519 Snyder Ave.
Citizen App video showed the active police scene Saturday morning.
Police were able to arrest the 44-year-old. When cops checked the vehicle, they found several more homemade Molotov cocktails.
Officials are still trying to put the pieces together, but it appears that a routine traffic stop led to the discovery of someone who was trying to hurt cops and maybe target others. Officials say there were three other Molotov cocktail-like devices in his car, and there may be writings in the vehicle.
Eyewitness News spoke exclusively with the brother of the suspect, who says his brother is mentally unstable.
The brother says the suspect has been living in his car, the same one police found him in when they pulled him over.
He says his brother was arrested about a month ago, and the family hoped that they would keep him in jail because he is "not in the right state of mind." He says they've asked for help many times.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted about the incident Saturday afternoon.
This is another reminder of how quickly a situation can change, & the dangers your cops face every day while they’re protecting NYers.— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 17, 2021
Even after arrest, the investigation into this attack remains active.
And your NYPD cops will not relent in their mission to keep you safe. https://t.co/tuymwW6O4D
An officer was taken to the hospital to be evaluated. He had blurred vision.
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