Arson charge after Molotov cocktail toss at mall
Federal authorities have filed arson charges against a man accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into the food court at the Ballston Common mall in Northern Virginia.
Leon Alphans Traille Jr., 29, of no fixed address, is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria on Friday afternoon. He is also facing state charges in Arlington of reckless endangerment, use of a fire bomb and attempted malicious bodily injury by use of fire.
Police say nobody was injured during Thursday’s incident, which occurred during the lunch rush. Police evacuated the mall for several hours after the bottle shattered. A court affidavit states that there was a flame, but the bottle did not ignite. Three similar bottles were found on the mall’s second level.
Rich Marianos, special agent in charge of the Washington office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms described the bottle as a “rude, crude incendiary device.”
Mr. Traille was arrested a few hours later near the Courthouse Metro station.
Court records give no indication of a motive.