FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Crown Heights Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison
For Trying to Torch Subway Booth during Robbery Attempt
Demanded Money, Doused Gasoline and Set Fire in Station Mezzanine
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 52-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to seven years in prison for an attempted robbery of an MTA station booth employee. The defendant demanded money, doused a flammable substance and set fire in the mezzanine area, causing a dangerous smoke condition in the Eastern Parkway subway station.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant tried to rob an MTA employee who was simply doing her job and put her and the public in serious danger when he started a fire inside a subway station, making the prison term he received today appropriate and just. I am committed to protecting our dedicated transit workers, who all too often are targets of threats and violence, and will continue to ensure that those who attack them are punished.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Everett Robinson, 52, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter to seven years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision following his guilty plea last month to first-degree attempted robbery.
The Acting District Attorney said that on August 12, 2016 at 10:45 p.m. inside the Eastern Parkway subway station in Crown Heights, the defendant, holding a plastic bottle, approached the booth and sprayed a liquid that smelled like gasoline into the aperture (the slot where transactions are made). He told the MTA employee, “Let me get the money or I’ll light you up,” according to the investigation.
The defendant lit up a folded shirt, but it quickly caught fire and fell to the floor before he could place it inside the aperture. The defendant then fled. The mezzanine and booth quickly filled with smoke. The fire safety system in the booth was activated, preventing the fire from spreading inside the booth and two passers-by extinguished the fire in the mezzanine. The employee suffered no injuries.
On August 16, 2016, a police officer canvassing the area outside the station with the victim identified the defendant and placed him under arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Justin Marrus of the District Attorney’s Orange Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Janet Gleeson, Bureau Chief.