BY JAMES FARRELL
A Queens Village man who firebombed five buildings in 2012 and told police that he was targeting Muslims and Arabs was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced on Friday.
On Jan. 1, 2012, the arsonist, Suraj Poonai Ray Lazier Lengend, 45, of 215th Street in Queens Village, threw a flaming gasoline-filled bottle at a Hindu place of worship that included a private residence on 170th Street. He also threw another flaming bottle at a private home on 43rd Avenue—as people were inside—and a Molotov cocktail at a deli at 179th Street and Hillside Avenue. He finished by driving to a home on 107th Avenue and tossing another incendiary item through a front bedroom window and at the Al-Khoei Benevolent Association Mosque along the Van Wyck Expressway.
In statements to the police after the incidents, Lengend said that he hated Muslims and Arabs and wanted to attack them.
Lengend pleaded guilty to the charges last month and was sentenced to 20 years, plus five years post release supervision.
“Hate crimes and arson are a volatile mix meant to inflict suffering and intimidation on its victims,” Brown said in a statement. “In this case, the targets of the defendant’s hate-filled arson attack ranged from private dwellings to houses of worship and endangered the lives of those within the buildings as well as the firefighters called to respond to the scene. As such, the sentence imposed by the court is more than warranted.”
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.