The New York Police Department has released footage of a traffic stop that quickly went wrong on Saturday morning.
Authorities state that two officers pulled over 44-year-old Lionel Virgile after he allegedly ran a red light. Body camera video from one of the officers shows him approaching Virgile’s car and speaking with him.
The driver’s left hand remains out of view as he tells the officer he is trying to retrieve his wallet. The officer tells him it is okay to open up the driver’s door to get his wallet but Virgile instead takes the opportunity to throw a cup full of liquid on the officer which the police believe was some kind of chemical.
Today, a vehicle stop for running a red light proved once again that no traffic enforcement is “routine.” When approached, the driver doused a cop with a chemical before fleeing, tossing a Molotov cocktail — and finally being arrested. Fortunately, our officers weren’t injured. pic.twitter.com/WBDt89b7F6
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 17, 2021
The video soon cuts off after the officer retreats to his vehicle. Police state that Virgile then drove off but he was quickly pulled over for a second time by another set of officers. During this stop, the man threw a lit Molotov cocktail at the police officer’s vehicle. According to NBC New York, it bounced off the windshield and shattered on the pavement. Virgile once again fled, but soon after, collided with an SUV and was taken into custody.
Police claim they found three other Molotov cocktails inside the car. According to law enforcement sources, the 44-year-old may face federal “weapon of mass destruction” charges. It is claimed that the New York Police Department is also speaking with the Brooklyn district attorney about potentially slapping the man with an attempted murder of a police officer charge. Authorities are said to be pushing for a federal charge that would carry a 20-year penalty if convicted.