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National Guard soldiers working at shelter in LIC thwart Flushing man from torching shop: FDNY

Flushing resident Ping Huang was charged with attempted arson for trying to burn down a Blissville auto repair shop amid a dispute with the owner. Courtesy of FDNY

Feb. 15, 2024 By Bill Parry

A Flushing man is criminally charged with attempted arson and other crimes for trying to torch an auto repair shop in Long Island City late last month. Ping Huang, 37, of Blossom Avenue, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Feb. 6 after he was seen trying to start a fire at the Frontline Collision shop at 51-27 35th St. in the Blissville section of LIC on Jan. 29.

The three eyewitnesses are National Guard soldiers assigned to the Joint Task Force Asylum Seeker detail who were next door working at the shelter located at the Cityview Hotel at 51-41 35th St., according to the FDNY.

National Guard soldiers at a shelter next door thwarted Huang and provided info to fire marshals leading to his arrest. Courtesy of FDNY

Specialist Jaslin Guzman and Sergeant Animesh Das saw Huang trying to “burn down the business” by pouring gasoline onto a fence alongside the shop and confronted him while Staff Sergeant Richard Miller put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher. Huang fled the scene in a silver Toyota Sienna. Guzman and Das briefly ran after him to obtain his license plate information. At one point Das caught up to the vehicle and told investigators that Huang said, “The guy owes me money,” before he sped away.

Guzman got the license plate #KZU6252 which they provided to FDNY fire marshals who were investigating the cause of the blaze. Using the license plate information, Fire marshals successfully identified Ping Huang as the culprit and found video surveillance that showed him prior to the attempted arson driving around the block to a gas station, where he filled multiple containers with gasoline. Later he is seen driving back to Frontline Collision where he poured gasoline in multiple locations throughout the alley between the shop and the Cityview Hotel Shelter and set the fire, according to the FDNY.

According to the criminal complaint, Guzman told investigators that she saw Huang pour gasoline from the containers onto a fence which he then lit, causing the fence to catch fire before Miller extinguished the flames.Huang was apprehended by FDNY Fire Marshals on Feb. 6.

He was arraigned later that day on a complaint charging him with attempted arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and arson in the fifth degree before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny who ordered him to return to court on April 9.

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