New York City

2 Lawyers, Upstate Woman With Criminal History Indicted in NYPD Firebombings

All three face the possibility of life in prison for the alleged attacks during a violent night of protests

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What to Know

  • Three people were arrested on federal charges, and later indicted by a grand jury, after authorities say Molotov cocktails were thrown at NYPD vehicles during recent protests
  • Samantha Shader is accused of throwing one of the firebombs and biting an officer during her arrest
  • Two attorneys, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, are charged with chucking another Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle a few hours later

Three people -- including one woman authorities say has an extensive criminal history -- have been indicted on federal charges after a pair of NYPD vehicles were firebombed during late-May protests.

Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, was accused of chucking a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle that was occupied by four police officers. When she was being cuffed, federal prosecutors say that she bit one of the officers' legs.

Two lawyers, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, of Brooklyn, were also charged after Rahman allegedly tossed a firebomb at an NYPD vehicle before running away with Mattis.

All three have now been indicted by a grand jury, federal prosecutors said Friday. They each face seven counts, including arson and civil disorder, and all three face up to life in prison if convicted.

According to the original charging documents, Shader allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail in the early hours of May 30. The FBI says it shattered two windows of an NYPD vehicle and damaged the vehicle while officers were inside. The complaint alleges that the FBI was able to get video of the incident from a witness.

Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York was charged with allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle that was occupied by four police officers.

After Shader's arrest, they say she waived her Miranda rights and admitted to throwing the Molotov cocktail at the NYPD vehicle.

Prosecutors say that Shader "has traveled the country committing various crimes, which include acts of violence and resisting arrest," including a 2019 officer interference conviction in Waterford, Connecticut.

A magistrate judge previously ordered her held without bail.

The FBI says that in the incident involving Rahman and Mattis, Rahman tossed a Molotov cocktail into a previously damaged NYPD vehicle, which then set fire to the vehicle. He fled in a van allegedly driven by Mattis, but they were caught and arrested by NYPD officers, according to authorities. Prosecutors say the van was full of components to make more Molotov cocktails.

Mattis, an associate at Pryor Cashman, has been suspended, his employer confirmed to NBC New York.

Mattis and Rahman were originally released on bail, a decision later overturned by an appellate court that ruled they should be returned to custody.

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