A quick-thinking cop at the 109th Precinct who stopped an arsonist from setting fire to the Flushing stationhouse last month was recognized for his efforts during Wednesday’s 109th Precinct Community Council meeting.
The incident occurred on Sunday, Feb. 26 at about 8:20 a.m., authorities said. James Wang, 26, allegedly entered the Flushing stationhouse at 37-05 Union St. holding a lighter in one hand and a bottle that contained rubbing alcohol in the other.
Police Officer Russell Ibraham, who was assigned to the precinct’s security post that morning, noticed Wang and immediately yelled for help. A fellow officer arrived and put Wang into handcuffs while Ibraham ordered the man to drop the items on the ground. Wang complied, and Ibraham retrieved the items.
According to Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison, the precinct’s commanding officer, Wang told authorities he intended to enter the precinct and light a fire in the building. When asked by officers what compelled him to do this, Wang replied, “I didn’t expect you to be here,” Harrison reported.
Wang was charged with attempted arson and making terroristic threats. Authorities said the perpetrator may be suffering from a psychiatric condition.
“All of the awards are special to me, but this one is really special,” Harrison said at the March 8 community council meeting. “He stopped a significant amount of, perhaps property damage, but more importantly, there were people in this building that could have gotten hurt, or worse.”
Police Officers Taejoong Kim, Anthony Spinella, Matthew Devine, Mario Cannariato and Brandon Mui were also honored at the meeting for their crime-fighting efforts this past month.
The Cop of the Month awards were sponsored by Councilman Paul Vallone, College Point Civic/Taxpayers Association and Peter Martines from the New York Police Shop.