WASHINGTON -- The man suspected of throwing a Molotov cocktail into an Arlington, Va., shopping mall food court on Thursday is facing federal arson charges.
As Patch reports, Leon Alphans Traille Jr is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Theresa Buchanan on Friday afternoon:
He is accused of attempting to use fire or explosives to destroy or damage property used in interstate commerce.
"This is an initial appearance. He goes in court, they tell him why he was arrested, what charges he's facing, and set up another court date,” [spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia Peter] Carr said.
The Ballston Common Mall was evacuated midday Thursday after a man threw a Molotov cocktail from the third level of the mall into the food court on the shopping center's lower level. It failed to ignite and there were no injuries. Two similar devices were found elsewhere in the mall.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to Thursday's incident, along with Arlington County Police, but at this point, authorities do not think there are any terrorism connections.
"Right now we don't believe it's an act of terrorism," Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ARLNow.com. "It's more like it's an act of stupidity."
Traille, who was arrested within hours of the incident while walking from the Clarendon neighborhood toward the Arlington County government complex, has not been cooperative with authorities, ARLNow.com reports.
Little is known about Traille, who has no fixed address. ARLNow.com reports:
The LinkedIn account for an individual with the same name and age as Traille says he’s a computer programmer who has been out of work since Aug. 2011. According to public records, Traille has previously lived in Georgia and Oregon. A public records search turned up no prior criminal history.
This post will be updated as news developments warrant ...