Authorities have arrested the fire bug accused of starting a massive fire at a Brooklyn nightclub earlier this month, Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday.
John Lhota has been arrested by US Marshals for allegedly dousing the floor of Rash nightclub in Bushwick with petrol before breaking it on March 3.
“We made a pledge to our LGBTQ+ community and all communities to protect our city. We will not rest on our laurels to make this a reality,” he said.
It was not immediately clear when Lhota was arrested for the club fire. But he was fingered as a suspected arsonist last Friday – two days after he was arrested by police for allegedly assaulting a woman at his home, according to a warrant affidavit.
The woman viewed security footage of the arson and identified the suspect as Lhota, court documents said.
The fire at the LGBTQ-friendly bar sent two women – a bartender and a DJ – to the hospital. According to the owner, a bouncer who briefly caught fire also received medical treatment.
Before the fire, Lhota was caught by surveillance cameras leaving his apartment building, just half a mile from the building, according to court documents.
He was also seen buying a red can, which he filled with gasoline before allegedly “systematically pouring gasoline all over the floor of Rash,” wrote Craig Gundersen, an FDNY fire marshal, in the warrant’s affidavit.
Despite the severe damage from the fire, one of Rash’s owners, Jack Sillen, told The Post the club will reopen “no matter how long it takes”.
“Very little [Rash] will be salvageable, we have to start again,” said Sillen after the fire.
“We’ve spent the last year putting all our time, energy and heart into this place and we’ve been really proud of what it has become. It was just getting going.”
A GoFundMe campaign for the fledgling club had raised a whopping $109,000 for a Staff, Medical & Restoration Fund.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/15/nyc-rash-lgbtq-nightclub-arson-suspect-john-lhota-arrested/ NYC Rash LGBTQ+ nightclub arsonist John Lhota arrested