Updated 5:07 p.m.
A man was busted for trying to set an NYPD cruiser and five other cars on fire near Elmhurst Hospital by stuffing burning rags into the gas tanks, police said.
“The defendant is charged with damaging six vehicles by stuffing a rag in each of the vehicles’ gas tanks and setting it ablaze,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “These incidents should not be viewed as a prank.”
According to Brown’s office, Miguel Ramos, 23, stuffed a dark rag into the gas tank of a Honda on Layton Street near the hospital before setting the cloth ablaze about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Ramos then went a few doors down to place another lit rag into a Nissan.
After police arrived, four more vehicles were found in the vicinity of the hospital with burning rags stuffed in their tanks, including a Chevrolet, an Audi and a marked police vehicle, officials said. The fire charred and damaged the rear area and gas tanks of the cars.
Ramos, an Astoria resident, was arraigned on Dec. 4 on three counts of third-degree criminal mischief and six counts of fourth-degree arson, the district attorney’s office said. If convicted, Ramos could face up to four years in prison.
Police did not immediately have a motive.
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