By Gina Martinez
A Jamaica man was charged with dousing a female employee with gasoline while attempting to burn down an Elmhurst restaurant, Fire Department officials said.
FDNY said that on April 4 at 11 a.m., 41 year-old Andrew Chung walked into the Islander Seafood Restaurant, located at 79-21 Queens Blvd., with a five-gallon container of gasoline and allegedly splashed it inside the restaurant. During the incident the gasoline soaked a female employee, FDNY said. Before he was able to ignite the gasoline Chung was restrained by employees but fled the scene before police personnel arrived, according to FDNY officials.
In the surveillance footage of the incident, Chung is seen going into a rage and splashing gasoline throughout the restaurant as employees attempt to calm him down and eventually restrain him, the FDNY said.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said FDNY fire marshals arrested Chung, a construction worker who was angered over a wage dispute. The Queens seafood restaurant owned by his employer.
FDNY said Chung was apprehended later that night by FDNY fire marshals near his Jamaica home.
Chung was charged with attempted arson, attempted assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office. He is scheduled to return to court on April 20.
Nigro said Chung could have potentially caused a fatal fire.
“If the gasoline had been lit, many lives would have been in peril because of this dangerous act,” he said.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart