You are reading

Elmhurst Resident Arrested and Charged for Setting NYPD Vehicle on Fire in Manhattan

Photos of the arson (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY)

Aug. 14, 2020 By Allie Griffin

An Elmhurst man was arrested and charged with arson Thursday for setting a NYPD vehicle on fire last month in Manhattan.

Sam Resto, 29, will appear in federal court later today for dousing a parked NYPD van with gasoline and setting it ablaze on the Upper West Side in the early morning hours on July 29, Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme announced today.

Resto allegedly visited an Elmhurst gas station on the night of July 28 and filled a red jerry can with gasoline, which he brought back to his home, video surveillance shows.

About an hour later, Resto was observed in surveillance getting in a rideshare car heading to Manhattan, according to the criminal complaint.

Suspect Sam Resto of Elmhurst (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY)

Resto — in the same clothing as earlier — was then caught on camera smashing in the window of a NYPD vehicle on West 83rd Street near Columbus Avenue just before 4 a.m.

With a Guy Fawkes mask covering his face, Resto poured gasoline inside the car and lit it on fire before fleeing east towards Central Park, the compliant states.

NYPD officers later found a backpack abandoned by Resto in Central Park. It contained the items of clothing he had worn earlier in the day, along with the gasoline can, lighters, a hammer and other items, according to the complaint.

Fingerprints on the gas canister lid match Resto’s and cell tower data places his phone at the scene of the fire and the area his backpack was found, the complaint states.

Items recovered by police (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of NY)

“When Resto set an NYPD van ablaze last month, as we allege today, his actions not only destroyed essential public safety equipment paid for by the people of New York City, he placed the personal safety of those living in the neighborhood and their private property into harm’s way,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said.

If convicted, Resto faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Queens Public Library celebrates Black History Month with nearly 150 programs highlighting Black resistance, culture

Feb. 2, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

Throughout February, Queens Public Library will celebrate “Black Resistance” — the theme of its 2023 Black History Month observance — with nearly 150 comprehensive programs and initiatives, including theater performances, author talks and art workshops for all ages, spotlighting various aspects of Black heritage, culture and resilience. 

Popular places where you can watch the big game in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘Limitless possibility’: BP Richards announces community visioning workshops on redevelopment of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and Empire State Development on Tuesday, Jan. 31, announced the launch of a series of community visioning workshops that will be held to hear input from eastern Queens residents about the redevelopment of the 50-acre Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens Village. 

The first community visioning workshop will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. at P.S./I.S. 208 located at 74-30 Commonwealth Blvd. in Glen Oaks.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.