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Suspect who attacked Brooklyn cops with chemical, Molotov cocktail will face fed charges: sources

Bodycam footage from the NYPD shows the suspect, identified as Connecticut's Lionel Virgile, just as he tossed a cup full of caustic liquid at an officer from Brooklyn's 67th Precinct on the morning of April 17, 2021.
Screenshot from video via Twitter/@NYPDNews

The suspect who attacked police officers in Brooklyn with a caustic chemical and a Molotov cocktail on Saturday will be booked on federal charges Monday, a law enforcement source told amNewYork Metro. 

Lionel Virgile, 44, a resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is now being investigated by federal agents for his alleged actions on April 17 against officers in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush.

Sources familiar with the case told amNewYork Metro that Virgile will appear in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on April 19 for arraignment on federal charges. According to WABC-TV, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York are considering booking him for possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Bodycam footage that the NYPD released Saturday shows the suspect, identified as Virgile, hurling a cup full of caustic liquid at an officer who approached him at the corner of Clarendon Road and East 45th Street during a traffic stop.

Virgile is shown on the video in the driver’s seat of a gray Lincoln Town Car and reaching down to his left for something. Seconds later, he opened the door and threw a cup full of caustic liquid at the officer who questioned him. 

Following the initial attack, Virgile got back behind the wheel of the Town Car and sped away. The officers were able to radio in a description of the culprit and request additional assistance.

Moments later, in the area of Snyder Avenue and East 56th Street, two additional officers spotted the suspect and vehicle in question and moved to stop it. As they did so, police said, Virgile allegedly stopped the sedan, got out of the car and then hurled a Molotov cocktail at the officers’ cruiser.

The improvised explosive device bounced off the police car’s windshield to the pavement, law enforcement sources said. Neither officer was injured.

Following the failed Molotov cocktail attack, Virgile allegedly got back into the Town Car and sped away — but his run from law ended moments later when he crashed into a parked SUV less than a block away, on Snyder Avenue.

Additional police cruisers boxed the Town Car in, and officers took Virgile into custody without further incident, authorities said. 

According to the NYPD, several more Molotov cocktails were found inside the Town Car.

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