Suspect Arrested in Connection to Arson at Standard Brooklyn LGBTQA+ Nightclub

John Lhota charged in connection to blaze at popular LGBTQ+ venue, faces up to 40 years in penal advanced

Daniel Kreps
Apr 15, 2022

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the arson at Brooklyn’s Rash venue, a most traditional nightclub within the LBGTQ+ neighborhood.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that John Lhota has been charged with arson stemming from the April 3 blaze where a masked man modified into as soon as witnessed pouring fuel on the venue’s bar and lights it on fire.

“As alleged, Lhota deliberately suppose fire to a bar and nightclub patronized by individuals of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood, severely injuring two of its employees, and endangering all hide in conjunction with the tenants of the building as effectively as the first responders who battled the blaze for roughly one hour,” United States Attorney for the Japanese District of Novel York Breon Peace said in a assertion. 

“This Office strongly condemns such acts of violence, and may possibly perchance simply quiet vigorously prosecute this case. The victims, and all LGBTQ+ Novel Yorkers, can even simply quiet be in a position to gather pleasure from their nights out in peace and with out fear of such a dreadful assault.”rash

Surveillance footage of the assault on Rash Bar

In accordance to the complaint in opposition to Lhota, the 24-Twelve months-passe modified into as soon as captured on security video purchasing a crimson canister at a provider situation and filling it with fuel. He then proceeded in direction of Rash, where he allegedly poured the fuel over the bar. Video then showed Lhota allegedly trying to ignite the fuel with a lit cigarette and, when that failed, a lighter, which sparked the fuel and resulted in an explosion.

Two Rash employees were effort in the blaze, which firefighters finally extinguished, nevertheless no longer sooner than the venue suffered heavy damages.

If convicted, Lhota faces no lower than seven years in penal advanced and a maximum of 40 years on the arson fee. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon at a Brooklyn court.

“This modified into as soon as a brazen act of arson that severely injured two individuals, positioned the lives of residents and dozens of Firefighters in grave threat, and struck fear throughout a whole neighborhood,” Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh added in a assertion.

The Rash arson modified into as soon as essentially the most modern in a string of incidents over the last Twelve months aimed at Brooklyn venues in the LGBTQ+ nightlife neighborhood, in conjunction with a stabbing at Bossa Nova Civic Membership, a pepper spray bomb at This present day, and a brick hurled by the window at C’mon Everybody. Lhota has no longer been named a suspect nor charged in any of these incidents. Security video then caught Lhota fleeing Rash, which modified into as soon as on the ground ground with residential residences above it.

From Rolling Stone US.

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