Anti-Gay Arsonist Targeted Hell’s Kitchen Venues in Hate Spree, District Attorney Says

Anti-Gay Arsonist Targeted Hell’s Kitchen Venues in Hate Spree, District Attorney Says

A gentleman accused of torching Hell’s Kitchen out of doors eating sheds, smashing windows and seeking to set fireplace to LGBTQIA+ areas across the West Side in August 2021 has been charged with hate crimes right after prosecutors discovered anti-homosexual product on his Fb account. Alex Blodgett, 39, faces up to 25 years in prison if located responsible of the spree, the place he is accused of setting 14 fires in a single evening.

The Brooklyn resident had now been billed with arson but had the prices upgraded to dislike crimes right after his Facebook posts about homosexual gentlemen and LGBTQIA venues were being uncovered. Among the targets of the marketing campaign he is accused of committing on August 16, 2021, were being Atlas Social Club, whose home windows were smashed, and VIV Thai on 9th Avenue, whose eating drop was established alight. Blodgett is alleged to be the person caught on camera throwing rocks at Atlas Social Club.

Chelsea French cafe LouLou and the Lesbian, Homosexual, Bisexual & Transgender Group Centre in Greenwich Village were being also focused. Blodgett was arrested just immediately after the hearth at LouLou, on 8th Avenue and W19th Avenue three hrs right after he set his very first fire.

Blodgett is accused of breaking all the home windows at Atlas Social Club on 9th Avenue in August 2021. Picture: Atlas Social Club.

In Tuesday’s press release, Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg declared the loathe crime rates, including: “Hate has no location here in Manhattan, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds have earned to really feel safe and sound. As alleged, this individual left a wake of actual physical destruction but also created an total community unsafe for the reason that he qualified LGBTQIA+ institutions. We will continue to vigorously examine and prosecute these sorts of unacceptable bias incidents.”

Blodgett’s posts ended up not disclosed in element by the DA but the business office reported a lookup warrant exposed “a sequence of anti-LGBTQIA+ statements, with specific bias towards homosexual adult men and homosexual venues” on Fb. Blodgett, 39, experienced initially been billed with 2nd and third-degree arson. He now faces 11 felony counts such as two of next degree legal mischief as a detest criminal offense and four of fourth degree prison mischief.

Element of the arson spree was captured by a Citizen App user

Prosecutors say that Blodgett’s hate marketing campaign commenced at the Lesbian, Homosexual, Bisexual & Transgender Local community Heart in Greenwich Village at 1am, allegedly tying a rag to the front doorway handles and environment it on fireplace, as well as setting a trash can and planter in front of the doorway alight.

Upcoming, the DA alleges, he headed to Hell’s Kitchen, and threw rocks by means of the windows of the Atlas Social Club on 9th Avenue among W50th and W51st Road right before placing the nearby VIV Thai’s floral outdoor dining construction ablaze.

He moved south to Chelsea, where by he allegedly established hearth to the attractive leaves affixed to Chelsea’s LouLou cafe — whose employees have been within and named 911. Chased by law enforcement, prosecutors stated that Blodgett was caught at approximately 4am with a lighter in his hand. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric analysis and later on charged with arson.

At the time of the attacks, Atlas Social Club expressed aid that Blodgett had been arrested. “This early morning we woke up to the information that at 2:30am a… let us call him ‘troubled individual’ smashed all our windows and then proceeded to light on hearth the sidewalk structures of two other restaurants down 9th Avenue,” the staff shared on Instagram. “Thankfully, with the support of the NYPD, stated personal has already been apprehended. Let us hope the new windows last… Any person else have to have a consume?”

VIV’s floral decoration of their out of doors eating experienced turn into a 9th Avenue landmark. Blodgett is accused of focusing on the restaurant throughout an anti-gay arson spree. Photo: Phil O’Brien

VIV’s proprietor also advised news shops of his shock. “When I came this early morning to open the cafe, it was like all burning in excess of listed here,” Narondwit Lee from VIV told ABC 7 Eyewitness News

The allegedly anti-homosexual arson spree joins an unsettling pattern of bias-enthusiastic loathe crimes, like many incidents of loathe-related arson more than the earlier year. In accordance to formal NYPD facts, cumulative detest crimes are up 12.5 percent from the very same period in 2021. 

Blodgett will be experimented with in the New York Supreme Courtroom by Assistant DA Katherine Byrns. 

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