A man incensed that a store clerk refused to sell him on credit returned to the 24-hour Boro Park mini mart and threw a lit Molotov Cocktail at the clerk, setting off a fire and burning the clerk, according to the charges unveiled on Friday.
Charles Diaz was charged with arson and attempted murder for the April 23 incident, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.
“We will fully prosecute this defendant for his heinous actions that almost took the life of an innocent and hardworking man,” Thompson said.
According to court documents, Diaz went into the store located at 3901 Fort Hamilton Parkway at about 1:10 a.m., demanding to buy a pack of cigarettes on credit. The store clerk on duty, Asif Butt, refused and Diaz angrily left.
Video surveillance showed Diaz returning about 45 minutes later with a flaming glass bottle, which he threw it into the store. When the bottle exploded, the clerk ran from the mini-mart with his clothes on fire. He sustained a laceration on his forehead above his left eye. The interior of the store burned from the ceiling to the floor, including merchandise.