Suspect in custody in alleged arson attack on LGBTQ bar in New York City

A suspect was taken into custody in connection with an alleged arson attack on a popular LGBTQ bar in Brooklyn, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday.

Adams said the person, who was not identified, was caught by the city’s fire and police departments with federal “partners.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what crimes the suspect was accused of or how and where the person was taken into custody. A New York Police Department spokesman said the man was facing federal charges and declined to comment further.

A local FBI spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached.

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“We made a promise to our LGBTQ+ community and all communities to keep our city safe,” Adams said. “We won’t rest in making that a reality.”

Owners of the Rash Bar in the Bushwick neighborhood said the April 3 fire occurred after a man wearing black walked inside with a bottle of flammable liquid, poured it on the ground and lit a match.

Three people were inside at the time and two were treated for minor burns, police said. The station reported that the blaze left the building destroyed.

The Rash Bar opened five months ago and quickly became a go-to spot for LGBTQ nightlife, queer young adults and performers.

As of Thursday, it had raised nearly $110,000 of a $200,000 goal for medical expenses, building repairs and out of work employees.

The bar’s owners have said they didn’t want to jump to conclusions about a possible motive. But one co-owner, Jake Sillen, told NBC News that it was “easy to see why our space would be an easy target for someone looking to do harm to the queer community.”

“People feel safe to be themselves, and it’s a shame that anybody would do anything to threaten this,” Sillen said.

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