New York City

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

Authorities say that one of the three people charged has an extensive criminal history; Prosecutors are asking all three to be held without bail

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What to Know

  • Three people were arrested on federal charges after authorities say Molotov cocktails were thrown at NYPD vehicles during this weekend's protests
  • Samantha Shader is accused of throwing one of the firebombs and biting an officer during her arrest Friday
  • 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 arrested on federal charges after a pair of NYPD vehicles were firebombed during this weekend's 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 officer's leg.

Two lawyers, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, of Brooklyn, face charges of possession of explosive device components after Rahman allegedly tossed a firebomb at an NYPD vehicle before running away with Mattis.

According to the charging documents, Shader allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at 1:12 a.m. in Brooklyn Saturday morning. The FBI says it shattered two windows of the 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.

On Monday, a magistrate judge ordered her held without bail until a preliminary hearing on June 12.

The FBI says that in the incident involving Rahman and Mattis, Rahman lit a Molotov cocktail into a previously damaged NYPD vehicle which then set fire to the vehicle. The pair tried to leave the scene, but were caught and arrested by NYPD officers, according to authorities.

Mattis, an associate at Pryor Cashman, has been furloughed since April, his employer confirmed to NBC New York. They say his employment will be reviewed by a committee in the upcoming week.

The complaint reads, "during the arrest, officers observed in plain view several precursor items to build a Molotov cocktail, including a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper and a liquid suspected to be gasoline in the vicinity of the passenger seat and a gasoline tank in the rear of the vehicle."

A magistrate judge ordered the release of Mattis and Rahman on a $250,000 bond to home confinement with electronic monitoring. They also have a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 12.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says, "Molotov cocktails are violent tools of individuals looking to inflict harm and damage our city."

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