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Monwell Wright pleads not guilty to attempted arson in Riverhead

Monwell A. Wright, 21, of Riverhead, was arrested

Monwell A. Wright, 21, of Riverhead, was arrested Sunday night, June 14, 2015, and charged with attempted arson, police said. Wright is accused of throwing a lit Molotov cocktail into his neighbor's home, they said. Photo Credit: Riverhead Town Police

A Riverhead man accused of throwing a lit Molotov cocktail at his neighbor's home pleaded not guilty to attempted arson and a weapons charge Thursday, prosecutors said.

Monwell A. Wright, 21, of 23 Segal Ave., was arrested not long into the investigation of the June 14 incident, Riverhead Town police said.

Wright filled an iced tea bottle with gas, "ignited a homemade wick and hurled it at his neighbor's house," the Suffolk County district attorney's office said Thursday in a news release. "The bottle bounced off the house and exploded on the ground."

District Attorney Thomas Spota said the homeowner "had a video surveillance system installed after an incident last month when he found scorch marks on his vinyl siding.

"The footage shows the defendant outside the home at the time the bottle of gas was tossed at the house," Spota said. "We are fortunate the house didn't catch fire; there were six people, including a six-month-old infant," in the home at the time.

State Supreme Court Justice William Condon ordered Wright held on $250,000 bail. He was represented by Legal Aid, which generally does not comment on cases.

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