A Whitestone man was sentenced to eight years in prison last Thursday for tossing a Molotov cocktail on the steps of JHS 194 earlier this year, the Queens district attorney said.
Konstantinos Mavrikos, 22, of 149−16 19th Ave., received the sentence in Queens Criminal Court in Kew Gardens after pleading guilty to second−degree arson charges in October, DA Richard Brown said.
Mavrikos was arrested after throwing a bottle filled with a flammable liquid at the side of William H. Carr Junior High School at 154−60 17th Ave. March 5 and another on the front steps of the school the following morning, authorities said.
“Flames from such crude incendiary devices spread quickly and have the potential to cause serious injury or death — to those in and around the building or to firefighters charged with fighting the blaze. Fortunately, that did not occur in this case,” Brown said.
The devices, which consisted of beer bottles filled with gasoline, caused minor damage to the sides and front stairs of the school. No injuries were reported in either incident, police said.
The two incidents, the second of which occurred near dismissal time at the school, nonetheless struck the nerves of parents, who frantically asked police what was happening as they came to pick up their children.
“I knew it was bad when I saw all the lights and the police tape,” one parent said from her car. “It’s scary when you see that and you don’t know what’s happening. You instantly think the worst.”
Authorities said students were kept in their classrooms after the second incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Streets were locked down and fire and police officials flooded the scene, where authorities said a witness told police that a man threw the device out of the window of his car as he drove by.
Police said the witness wrote down the car’s license plate number, which investigators traced back to Mavrikos’ home.
Police said Mavrikos, who neighbors said attended the school as a child, was placed under arrest about 30 minutes later.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.
©2009 Community News Group
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