Some people go to great lengths to cover up a wrongdoing. One of the most common examples is that a driver may flee an accident scene to avoid getting caught. A less common example? Burning down a bar to destroy a surveillance camera that caught footage of you assaulting someone.
Sound a little too far fetched? Well, it’s actually a true story. A Maryland man went to bizarre lengths to cover up the fact that he hit his girlfriend while at a bar. To cover up evidence of the assault, he committed arson, burning down the popular Pasadena bar. The man was recently sentenced to nine years in prison for the crime.
The 36-year-old man from Pasadena was at Coconut Charlie’s on July 22, 2017. In the early morning hours, he assaulted his girlfriend while on the bar’s patio. A police officer witnessed the assault, which was also captured on the bar’s video surveillance system. The man was charged with second-degree assault and was served with a summons five days later.
On July 28, 2017, the man concocted an elaborate plan to destroy the evidence by burning down the bar. He made explosive devices similar to Molotov cocktails. He caught them on fire and threw them toward the outside of Coconut Charlie’s to burn it down and destroy the video system.
The explosives created a massive fire. Several agencies responded to control the fire. One firefighter experienced a backdraft and was injured while fighting the fire on a ladder. The video surveillance system was still operational and was able to capture glimpses of the fire.
Investigators found melted plastic cups filled with gasoline. A K-9 dog also found gasoline on the premises. Burnt clothes were used as a wick material and they were found outside of the bar. Beyond the property fence line was a glove, which contained the man’s DNA. The man admitted to setting the wicks on fire and throwing the devices on the roof.
The arson destroyed Coconut Charlie’s and caused more than $500,000 in damage. The bar, which was a longtime fixture in the town, was forced to permanently close.
On October 29, the man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his role in the arson. He will then face three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered the man to pay $560,346.26 in restitution for the damage he caused to the building.
The man in this case committed a felony crime to cover up a less serious crime. He now faces almost a decade in prison for his actions.
Arson, assault, and other crimes are punished harshly in Maryland. The Columbia assault lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can go to bat for you and help you get a favorable outcome in your case. Schedule a consultation by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044