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.
crack head really lit me and rylans hair on fire then me and noel beat his ass and he had a knife and axe pic.twitter.com/1ygrn2Bavm
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.”
He was chasing after my friend @youandmees and I on the stretch of Durant before artichokes. We were running, he was less than a foot behind us. CHECK BEHIND YOU WHEN WALKING AT NIGHT, EVEN WHEN ITS CROWDED. He only stopped after we crossed the street and ran into others
This same man jumped out of nowhere, followed me and my friend down Durant, and started chasing us on a really dark part of the street. We were terrified and eventually had to start running. We later learned that he had a hatchet and was planning on setting someone on fire. https://t.co/Z6pK6H4L3G
My friend and me also ran into the same man. This is our story. Just a reminder, please walk with a friend, and be mindful of your surroundings. We were caught off guard since it was so close to everything. He obviously was stressed about his daughter. pic.twitter.com/aoXI9XqrQM
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.
FULL STORY. please stop bringing race & hate into this. what the man did was fucked up but we also don’t know what happened beforehand and what caused him to attack us like that. pic.twitter.com/LxbjedHhlS
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.
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