QUEENS MAN INDICTED ON ARSON AND ASSAULT CHARGES FOR SETTING BLAZE THAT INJURED TWO IN APRIL
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro, today announced that Sukhwinder Singh, 47, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on arson, assault and other charges for allegedly setting fire to an apartment building on 94th Avenue in Richmond Hill last month.
District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant in this case is accused of intentionally setting a fire to an occupied building that forced two men to jump for their lives from a third-floor window, resulting in serious injuries. As alleged, this was a deliberate act of destruction that put lives in danger and caused extensive damage to the building. In custody and now indicted, the defendant faces justice in our Courts.”
Commissioner Nigro said, “This act of arson nearly killed two people and endangered the lives of dozens of New York City Firefighters. I thank our Fire Marshals who worked quickly to apprehend this dangerous individual, and District Attorney Katz and her office for their efforts in prosecuting this horrific act.”
Singh, (aka Jagga Singh and Jagtar Singh), of 101st Avenue in Richmond Hill, was arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a six-count indictment charging him with arson in the first, second and third degree, assault in the first degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree. Justice Cimino set the defendant’s return date for September 16, 2021. If convicted, Singh faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.
District Attorney Katz said, according to the charges, after 1 p.m. on April 29, 2021, the defendant was observed on surveillance video allegedly filling up a plastic container with gasoline at a gas station, then crossing the street and entering into the three-story building at 119-10 94th Avenue minutes before the fire. The defendant is further observed on security video exiting the building moments after the fire began. As the defendant was fleeing the scene, smoke could also be seen billowing from the second-floor landing of the stairwell.
Continuing, the DA said, the fire quickly spread to the top floor where two men were forced to jump from a third-floor window. Both victims sustained numerous fractures, including multiple spine fractures.
The investigation was led by Fire Marshal Bryan Fealy of the New York City Fire Department.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Weinstein, of the District Attorney’s Felony Trials Bureau II, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Mark Osnowitz, Bureau Chief, Rosemary Chao, Deputy Chief, Charissa Ilardi, Unit Chief, Michael Kavanagh, Section Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Felony Trials Pishoy Yacoub.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.