Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, along with Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, announced Tuesday, June 15, that Sukhwinder Singh has been indicted by a grand jury and arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on arson, assault and other charges for allegedly setting fire to an apartment building on 94th Avenue in Richmond Hill last month.
Singh, 47, of 101st Street — who also goes by Jagga Singh and Jagtar Singh — was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a six-count indictment charging him with arson in the first, second and third degree, assault in the first degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree.
“The defendant in this case is accused of intentionally setting a fire to an occupied building that forced two men to jump for their lives from a third-floor window, resulting in serious injuries,” Katz said. “As alleged, this was a deliberate act of destruction that put lives in danger and caused extensive damage to the building. In custody and now indicted, the defendant faces justice in our courts.”
According to the charges, after 1 p.m. on April 29, Singh was observed on surveillance video allegedly filling up a plastic container with gasoline at a gas station, then crossing the street and entering into the three-story building at 119-10 94th Ave. minutes before the fire. The defendant is further observed on security video exiting the building moments after the fire began. As Singh was fleeing the scene, smoke could also be seen billowing from the second-floor landing of a stairwell.
Katz added that the fire spread quickly to the top floor where two men were forced to jump from a third-floor window. Both victims sustained numerous fractures, including multiple spine fractures.
“This act of arson nearly killed two people and endangered the lives of dozens of New York City firefighters,” Nigro said. “I thank our fire marshals who worked quickly to apprehend this dangerous individual, and District Attorney Katz and her office for their efforts in prosecuting this horrific act.”
Justice Cimino set Sigh’s return date for Sept. 16. If convicted, Sigh faces up to 25 years to life in prison.