Ray Lazier Lengend, accused of involvement with hurling crude Molotov cocktails at an Islamic cultural center and four other New York-area sites on New Year’s Day, is led out of the 103rd precinct in Jamaica, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2011, in Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo)
(CBS/AP)NEW YORK – A man who confessed to a string of New Year’s Day arson attacks at an Islamic cultural center and four other sites where he had personal grievances was arrested on a hate crime charge, police said.
Ray Lazier Lengend, a 40-year-old of Guyanese descent, hurled crude firebombs at the Islamic center in part because he wasn’t allowed to use its bathrooms, a law enforcement official said.
Lengend was tracked through a stolen car with Virginia license plates believed to be at the scene of at least two of the attacks Sunday evening on a convenience store, three homes and the cultural center, police said. He was arrested Tuesday on charges including one count of arson as a hate crime, four counts of arson and five counts of criminal possession of a weapon, they said.
Lengend, who lives in Queens, was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric examination Tuesday night. He remained in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. A man who answered a telephone call at Lengend’s home said he would not give out any information over the phone and hung up. There was no information on whether Lengend had a lawyer.
Police spokesman Paul Browne said Lengend made statements implicating himself in the attacks and had personal grievances with each targeted location. Crude firebombs were tossed at the convenience store, two homes in Queens, a home in nearby Nassau County and the Islamic center.