Disturbed man goes on rampage in Queens, hurling stuff onto street and setting fire

A man set fire to the first floor of a private dwelling leaving five hurt. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Police in Queens shocked and then arrested an irate 27-year-old man after he allegedly approached them armed with an ax after setting fire to a house and smashing up a car on a Queens street.

Four police officers from the 109th Precinct received minor injuries in the scuffle with the unidentified man, who they found throwing objects when they approached him in front of 46-31 Bowne St. in Flushing.

Law enforcement sources said the trouble began at 10:47 a.m. on Aug. 9, when the emotionally disturbed man was observed throwing objects in the street and causing damage to a white Honda parked nearby for no apparent reason.

When the man approached officers with the ax and a pole, the sergeant used a stun gun to subdue him. Four officers were injured trying to take him into custody, police officials said.

As they were placing him into custody, officials said they noticed smoke coming from the first floor of the house. Officers then entered the house, evacuated four people from the upper floors, and called firefighters.

The fire went to an all-hands, with 50 firefighters fighting the blaze for 20 minutes before bringing it under control.

Witness Walter Yumbla said the man ran over to his car and smashed the side mirror with an unidentifiable object.

“There was blood on the passenger side down on my white Honda SUV,” said Yumbla, adding that he didn’t know why the man attacked his car or set the fire. “He broke the mirror and the back glass — nobody knows him. I spoke to the investigator from the fire department and he said he lives in College Point, but didn’t know why he was here.”

A man set fire to the first floor of a private dwelling leaving five hurt. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The emotionally disturbed man was taken to NY Presbyterian Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, while the police officers were treated and released from a local hospital.

No injuries were reported in the fire itself. Police say the incident is still under investigation and charges are being considered at this time.

According to police sources, the same man had appeared at the house the day before, breaking a basement window before fleeing. Investigators are trying to figure out his connection to the house.

With additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell

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