A Queens man on Thursday pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted arson as a hate crime for endangering “scores of people” by firebombing homes and places of worship in Jamaica on New Year’s Eve of 2012, prosecutors said.
Suraj Poonai Ray Lazier Lengend, 45, told police he planned the five attacks “to inflict as much damage as possible and his goal was to take out as many Muslims and Arabs as possible,” prosecutors said in a statement.
“He went on to state that he disliked Muslims, Arabs and Hindus,” the statement said.
Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron indicated that on Sept. 28 he will sentence the defendant to 20 years in prison, and then 5 years post release supervision, the statement said.
Lengend, a Queens Village resident, carried out his attacks by filling bottles with gasoline, according to the statement.
He threw “crude molotov cocktails” at three private homes, a mosque and a Hindu place of worship, said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
His crimes imperiled the lives of both firefighters and those who were inside the buildings, he said.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has admitted to carrying out a vicious, hate-filled attack that endangered scores of people. . . . This kind of intolerance and hate will not be tolerated in Queens,” Brown added.
Lengend first threw a bottle containing gasoline at a Hindu place of worship — also a residence — and ignited a fire on the front lawn, Brown said.
Next, the defendant firebombed another home while people were inside, he said.
Lengend then drove to his third target: a deli.
There, Brown said, “He ignited a glass bottle containing gasoline and threw it inside the store.”
“The molotov cocktail hit the floor and gasoline spilled out, spreading the flames as he ran out of the store,” he continued.
Lengend’s fourth target was another home, where he hurled an “incendiary device through the front bedroom window,” he said.
“The ensuing flames caused damage to both the interior and exterior of the private home,” Brown said.
The defendant’s “next act of hate” was throwing a glass bottle at the exterior wall of a mosque, damaging it, prosecutors said.
Lengend’s attorney was not immediately available.