Queens man sets fire to restaurant over alleged order dispute

Queens man sets fire to restaurant over alleged order dispute

October 18, 2022

‘They didn’t give me chicken biryani!’ Man, 49, is arrested for setting NYC Bangladeshi restaurant on FIRE after it botched his order when he was drunk

  • A man was recently arrested after setting a Bangladeshi restaurant in Queens, New York on fire over a complaint with his order
  • Choephel Norbu, 49, was charged with arson , criminal mischief, reckless endangerment 
  • Video shared by FDNY shows the suspect dumping a flammable liquid on the front of the restaurant before striking a match  
  • The man was reportedly angry over an order that he had gotten from the restaurant 

A New York City man has been arrested after setting fire to a restaurant that got his order wrong.

Choephel Norbu, 49, set the blze at the Bangladeshi Ittadi Garden and Grill in Queens in the early morning hours of Sunday.

Video released by the Fire Department of New York shows a man, allegedly Norbu, waiting outside the restaurant in the darkness.

He is dressed in all black and holds a plastic bag with unknown contents. Several seconds in, he bends over to grab a bucket right next to him. 

The accused, Choephel Norbu, can be seen on CCTV footage outside of the Queens restaurant, after tossing the flammable liquid at the restaurant 

Norbu, allegedly intoxicated, bends over to spark a flame from a lighter or a match that he had pulled out of his pocket

Court records obtained by the New York Post say that Norbu told officers the whole incident was ignited over a botched order from the Bangladeshi restaurant. 

‘I was very drunk. I bought chicken biryani. They didn’t give me chicken biryani. I was mad, and I threw it out,’ Norbu said of his October 1 order. 

He told investigators that he believes the restaurant gave him the wrong dish. 

‘I bought a gas can, and I threw it at the store to try to burn it out. I lit it up, and boom, it got on me,’ said the man, who allegedly scampered away from the scene with his shoes on fire.      

Video captured by CCTV outside of the restaurant shows him pick up the bucket and toss its contents through the slots of the business’ gates.

The liquid can be seen splashing back at the man as the restaurant was closed up for the night and he had thrown the liquid at glass. 

The man reaches into his pocket to grab what appears to be a match or a lighter and then bends over, providing cover from the wind. 

Additionally, the majority of the liquid had landed on the ground so it appears the man was attempting to set the most highly flammable portion ablaze. 

In his attempt, the man creates a huge flame that engulfs the ground, the front of the business, and himself. 

The flame catches immediately and even throws the man back in a large explosion, likely caused by the liquid he poured being highly flammable 

This is the outside of the Ittadi Garden and Grill restaurant where Norbu is accused of setting a fire in the early morning hours of October 2

The video shows Norbu blasted back from the flame and the man can be seen immediately fleeing on foot. 

The fire continues to burn, mostly on the ground after Norbu leaves. 

In the final few seconds, a bystander can be seen rushing in to attempt to put out the blaze. 

On Monday, FDNY released the video on social media, sharing the charged brought against Norbu by prosecutors.

‘Today, Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh announced the arrest of Choephel Norbu which occurred on Friday, October 14th, 2022,’ FDNY said Monday.  

‘Fire Marshals along with Arson and Explosion Detectives arrested Norbu, 49, for intentionally setting fire to a commercial food establishment at 73-07 37 Road in Queens on October 2, 2022. Norbu has been charged with 1 count of Arson 3, 1 count of Criminal Mischief 2, and 1 count of Reckless Endangerment 2.

DailyMail.com spoke with NYPD officials who confirmed that the nature of the incident made it a case covered by the fire department.

According to reports, just days after Norbu was arrested, however, he was released with supervision. 

Before he threw the liquid and set the fire, Norbu was hanging out around the restaurant with a bucket of flammable liquid

Norbu’s was released without having to post bail, reportedly. 

One police officer told The New York Post: ‘He sets a store on fire, he planned this, why is he out the next day?’ 

DailyMail.com spoke with a restaurant representative who confirmed that no one was inside at the time of the fire and the damage was minimal. 

Fatema Rahmi, a spokesperson for Ittadi Garden and Grill said that she is unsure if the owners plan to press charges against the man. 

Rahmi also said that most damage was superficial and mostly impacted the restaurant’s windows. 

After the incident, Fire Marshals were assigned to the case to investigate and immediately got to work.   

Less than two weeks after the arson, Norbu was arrested without incident. 

His charges of criminal mischief and arson made him eligible for the strictest form of release, which a judge granted on October 15 during arraignment proceedings. 

Norbu is expected to appear back in court on December 18 in Queens. 

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