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Brooklyn Man Indicted On Claims That He Threw Molotov Cocktail, Injured Bodega Clerk

Photo from surveillance video that captured Molotov Cocktail attack at Brooklyn mini-mart on April 23, 2014 (Credit: NYPD)

Photo from surveillance video that captured Molotov Cocktail attack at Brooklyn mini-mart on April 23, 2014 (Credit: NYPD)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man was indicted Friday on charges that he threw a Molotov cocktail into a Brooklyn bodega, leaving a store clerk injured and burning out the store.

Charles Diaz, 35, of Brooklyn, was arrested soon after the incident around 1:55 a.m. April 24, at a 24-hour mini-mart at 3901 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

He was indicted Friday on charges arson, attempted murder, assault, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Diaz allegedly walked into the bodega around 1:10 a.m. the day of the incident, demanding to buy a pack of cigarettes on credit. Store clerk Asif Butt, 34, refused and Diaz stormed out, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

Video surveillance indicated that Diaz returned 45 minutes later and hurled a Molotov cocktail into the store, prosecutors said. The clerk ran out of the store with his clothes on fire, and he suffered a cut to his forehead above his left eye.

The interior of the store was burned from ceiling to floor, including merchandise, prosecutors said.

Fidel Perez told CBS 2’s Lou Young last month that he heard the explosion from inside of the drink cooler and came out to find his coworker in flames. Neighbors said that they were shocked that the entire building didn’t go up in flames.

“He didn’t think twice about what he was doing. He didn’t even consider anything, like people live upstairs. There’s a lot of kids upstairs,” Diana Soto said.

If convicted, Diaz faces 25 years to life in prison.

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