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Police & Fire

Fairfield County Man Charged With Attack On NYPD Officer, Tossing Molotov Cocktail, Police Say

Lionel Virgile during the traffic stop just before throwing the liquid at the officer.
Lionel Virgile during the traffic stop just before throwing the liquid at the officer. Photo Credit: NYPD News

A Fairfield County man is being charged in federal court with an attack on an NYPD officer over the weekend and then tossing a Molotov cocktail.

Lionel Virgile, age 44, of Bridgeport, will face a federal just on a charge of arson on Monday, April 19, for the attack which took place in Brooklyn on Saturday, April 17, said the NYPD.

According to police, around 8 a.m., Saturday, 67 Precinct officers stopped Virgile in a gray 2000 Lincoln Town car for a traffic infraction.

The officers were speaking with Virgile when he opened the car door and threw an unknown liquid substance in an officer's face, the NYPD said.

He then fled the scene in his vehicle. The officers immediately requested additional units to their location through the communications division and provided a description of Virgile and his vehicle. 

Responding officers in a patrol car observed the vehicle in the vicinity of 5505 Snyder Ave., and pulled up behind him, the NYPD said.

Virgile stopped the car and stepped out with a bottle filled with liquid that had a flame at the top of it and threw the device at the police vehicle, police said.

It bounced off the windshield and shattered on the street. 

Virgile then got back into his car and continued westbound on Snyder Avenue. Shortly thereafter he collided with a parked and unoccupied SUV in front of 5419 Snyder Ave., NYPD said.

Numerous police units encircled the car and removed Virgile without further incident. 

The injured officer was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries to his face and blurred vision. 

Additional Molotov cocktails were reportedly found inside the vehicle. 

The investigation is active and ongoing.

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