Suspected Arsonist Busted After Taunting FBI with 'TOO LATE!' Message

Suspected Arsonist Busted After Taunting FBI with ‘TOO LATE!’ Message

A Queens man who allegedly set a police car on fire in July spray-painted “TOO LATE!” on his wall to taunt agents before being taken into custody.

“Sam Resto was busted at his work Thursday afternoon with a passport in his backpack, and admitted to FBI agents he had planned to flee, prosecutors said,” according to the New York Post.

The report continued:

When agents entered his Elmhurst apartment that night, they were confronted with the scrawled taunt, alongside a drawing of a smiley face with a tongue sticking out. The provocation backfired.

Prosecutors asked a Brooklyn federal court Friday to order Resto held without bail — and used his intention to flee and the wall taunt to back up their argument that he’s a flight risk. The judge agreed and ordered Resto held.

The suspect was captured on video July 29 setting an unoccupied New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicle on fire in Manhattan, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York.

The release detailed the event:

Resto approached the van, smashed the window with a blunt object, poured gasoline into the interior and set the vehicle on fire before fleeing east towards Central Park. The NYPD subsequently recovered a backpack in the park belonging to Resto containing, among other things, clothing similar to items Resto was seen wearing earlier that morning, a Guy Fawkes mask, a red jerry can that smelled of gasoline, a hammer and lighters.

Resto’s alleged actions “not only destroyed essential public safety equipment paid for by the people of New York City, he placed the personal safety of those living in the neighborhood and their private property into harm’s way,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.

“Today’s federal charges are the community’s message back to Mr. Resto and others who may choose to engage in this type of criminal behavior – we will not tolerate crimes of this magnitude and the consequences will be significant,” he noted.

Agents also found “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” during the search of his apartment, which reportedly contained instructions for making explosives, according to the Post.

“The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Resto faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment,” the attorney’s office concluded.

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