Teen arrested in midtown fire attack; others sought, NYPD says

A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged Friday in connection with a fire attack in midtown last week, the NYPD said. It was one of at least six attacks Sept. 10 on women in midtown, one of whom was wearing traditional Muslim attire.

The teen was charged with hate crime attempted assault, hate crime aggravated harassment and hate crime harassment in the targeting of a teen girl on 42nd Street between Sixth and Seventh  avenues on Sept. 10. The teen girl was walking with her mother at about 8 p.m. when a male in a group attempted to set her T-shirt on fire with a lighter, but the group was chased off by the teen’s mom, cops said.

The incident was one in a series of targeted fire attacks on women in midtown that evening by a group of three males and three females, cops said. Police are still looking for the other five members of the group. None of the women were injured in the attacks.

Shortly after the teen girl was approached, one of the males tried to light a woman’s leg on fire on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets at 8:45 p.m., cops said.

Less than 15 minutes later, one of the males in the group set a Muslim woman’s blouse on fire while she stood outside of a store on Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th streets, police said. The woman, who was visiting from Scotland, was able to pat out the fire. She told police she saw a man standing next to her with a lighter.

Another woman was approached around the same time as the Muslim woman, police said. She was at the intersection of East 54th Street and Fifth Avenue when one of the people in the group set her skirt on fire as they passed.

The last incident occurred around 10 p.m., when two women were approached as they walked down the stairs into the 42nd Street-Bryant Park subway station, police said. Both had a flame placed near their arms, they said. The victims said they saw one male, wearing a white T-shirt, but added that he was with others, police said. The group fled as the women got on a train, police said.