Armed Man Arrested, Charged After Lighting Customer on Fire in Berkeley Boba Shop
By Ryan General
September 16, 2020
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with the Berkeley Police Department stating that the suspect has been arrested and charged after attempting to set several people on fire.
A man who was spotted trying to set a customer on fire inside a bubble tea shop in Berkeley, California has been arrested and charged after getting beaten by the victim’s friends.
Caught in the act: On Monday night, Angelique Duong posted footage of the incident on Twitter, showing the attacker, identified by police as Brandon McGlone, 46, trying to sneak behind her friend who was waiting in line at Feng Cha Teahouse on Durant Avenue in Berkeley at around 9:30 p.m.
- The Berkeley Police Department told NextShark in a statement that two men were dining outside of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (2590 Durant Ave.) when the suspect approached them.
- McGlone knocked their food off of the table and said he would light them on fire. As the two men walked away from the suspect, he sprayed them with WD-40.
- The suspect then turned his attention to four others outside of Feng Cha, spraying and igniting the hair of two people, police said. Bystanders were able to extinguish the person’s hair while others tried to subdue the suspect.
- “Oh ya know just wanted to get boba with my bf and my friends and we f**king got attacked and my friends set on fire. no big deal,” Duong wrote along with the disturbing clip.
- The man, who attacked the customers with a makeshift flamethrower, was also found to be armed with an ax and knife.
- The victim and his friends chased the culprit and ganged up on him after catching up to him.
- One of the Asian men, named Johnny, retaliated on the attacker.
- After getting beaten and stomped on, the man ended up with a bashed face.
Boba night gone wrong: Duong narrated the incident to NextShark, saying it happened as she, her boyfriend and two other male friends were waiting to get served at the shop.
- According to Duong, the man started the fire with a WD40 and a mini torch lighter.
- “I was angry, enraged, shocked and scared when the man came up and started the fire,” she said. “I did not think that this would ever happen to me or my friends so when it did happen it was just all super shocking and upsetting.”
- She shared that her friends and boyfriend were just as angry that someone would come up to light them on fire from out of nowhere.
- “The police were called before the incident happened and arrived on the scene. We have not received any information about who the man is,” she noted.
- The said man was rushed to the hospital via an ambulance. No one else was seriously injured.
- Other accounts of what happened online indicated that the offender showed signs of instability, with some Twitter users saying they decided to avoid the man when they encountered him on the same night.
- A common phrase he seemed to repeat was “This isn’t your fight” and “I just want to see my daughter.”
- Duong also called for calm on social media and urged her followers not to turn the incident into an issue of race and hate as the man’s motivations for his actions remain unclear.
- She suspects that he might have been “mentally ill” or under substance abuse.
Berkeley police said officers arrived at Feng Cha and were able to convince the suspect to drop his hatchet. Officers also found knives, including a machete, matches, lighters and several “Molotov cocktails.”
On Wednesday, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office charged the suspect with arson, criminal threats, throwing a flammable substance on another, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of destructive devices and other charges.
Feature Image Screenshots via @angeliqueeduong
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