New York Man Onced Named ‘Sommelier of the Year’ Charged With Arson
The food service industry can be tough. But this might be taking the phrase 'burning desire' to a whole new ridiculous level. A man Food & Wine magazine once named Sommelier of the Year has been charged with three arsons in New York. The NY Post says the 35-year-old allegedly set fire to a shed outside Prince Street Pizza early July 13. But this wasn't this wine lover's first brush with pyromania, according to authorities.
After an investigation, police have connected this wino to a fire set in early January at Forsythia Restaurant on the Lower East Side. Officials also tied him to a fire set on the corner of Broome and Centre Streets. Now, this once rising star in the restaurant industry has been charged with two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of third-degree criminal mischief and three counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, the FDNY said.
What set him off is uncertain. The Post says that in a recent interview with Sommelier Business, he complained of the pressures COVID-19 had put on the service industry. The Post said he was considered a well respected wine expert,who has been involved with a number of successful restaurants in Manhattan. He even apparently ran for President in 2020. How the mighty have fallen.
Well, least he didn't burn his own place and then get caught by his own security cameras. Police say that after an investigation, a 54 year-old New Jersey man actually set fire to his very own restaurant back in August 2020. The owner can be seen in surveillance footage setting fires in several locations inside his Astoria restaurant. But aside from the surveillance cameras, another issue that foiled his plan was the sprinkler system. The video, posted by CBS, shows the sprinklers knocking down the flames, thus preventing the fire from spreading much further. You think he didn't really plan for this too well? Did he not know there were security cameras and a sprinkler system in his own restaurant?