Bond set in Algonquin Molotov cocktail case

Man threw Molotov cocktail into Algonquin grocery store, police say

  • Police block off the parking lot of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market Sunday on Randall Road in Algonquin after a man walked into the store with a Molotov cocktail and threw it into a crowd, injuring one shopper. A 24-year-old Sleepy Hollow man was arrested and charged with aggravated arson.

      Police block off the parking lot of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market Sunday on Randall Road in Algonquin after a man walked into the store with a Molotov cocktail and threw it into a crowd, injuring one shopper. A 24-year-old Sleepy Hollow man was arrested and charged with aggravated arson. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Fabian J. Torres

    Fabian J. Torres

  • Employees of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market in Algonquin wait outside the store Sunday as police collect evidence after a man threw an incendiary device inside the store, injuring one shopper.

      Employees of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market in Algonquin wait outside the store Sunday as police collect evidence after a man threw an incendiary device inside the store, injuring one shopper. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Police inspect a car in the parking lot of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market in Algonquin on Sunday while investigating why a man walked into the store with a Molotov cocktail and threw it into a crowd, injuring one shopper.

    Police inspect a car in the parking lot of Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market in Algonquin on Sunday while investigating why a man walked into the store with a Molotov cocktail and threw it into a crowd, injuring one shopper.

 
 
Updated 8/22/2011 11:20 AM

Police say a 24-year-old man walked into an Algonquin grocery store about noon Sunday and threw a Molotov cocktail into a crowd of people, injuring one man.

A 40-year-old Crystal Lake man shopping at Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market, 100 S. Randall Road, chased suspect Fabian J. Torres out of the store and, with the help of an off-duty Carpentersville police officer, subdued him until police arrived, according to authorities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I was just at Caputos, it was surreal," said Thom Petrowski, who was with his wife and 5-year-old son. "I'm standing in the deli department and I looked up and saw a flame going over my head."

Torres pulled up to the store about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, sprinted down an aisle at the market and threw the homemade device into a crowded area near the deli department, said Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ed Urban.

"It landed literally four feet behind me and I saw the flames go up a guy's leg and shorts," Petrowski said. "I just chased him out of Caputo's into the parking lot and when he knew I was right on him, he took off."

Torres, who lives in Sleepy Hollow, was charged with aggravated arson, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, Urban said.

He is being held on $2 million bond and would have to post 10 percent of that amount, or $200,000 to be released from the McHenry County jail until his next court date, said Philip Hiscock of the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The bottle did break open and the fire spread," Urban said. "One person was slightly burned on the legs, and treated and released at the scene."

Police cordoned off a large area of the parking lot while searching the red Kia that Torres arrived in to ensure there were no other devices.

"At this time, we think he was acting alone," Urban said. "We didn't find another incendiary device, that was our initial concern."

Petrowski said there were about 30 people standing near the deli counter when the bottle was thrown.

"I told my wife, 'three seconds earlier I would have been in that spot,'" he said. "He was aiming for the crowded spot. He came in a full sprint running down the aisle, lit it and threw it."

Petrowski said when police showed up, Torres still had a lighter in his hand.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms assisted police at the scene.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We are trying to confirm the motive right now," Urban said. "We are going to be meeting tomorrow with the (McHenry County) state's attorney's office to see if there will be more charges."

Hiscock said aggravated arson is the only charge against Torres as of Monday morning, but police still are investigating.

Police said there was some damage to the store, but nothing significant that would force it to close. A store employee could not comment Monday on the extent of the damage and said store managers also were instructed not to comment.

Torres' next court date is set for Friday.

Daily Herald staff writer Marie Wilson contributed to this report