A 16-year-old boy who allegedly set fire to a Brooklyn apartment and critically injured two New York Police Department officers started the blaze because he was “bored,” according to police.
Marcell Dockery was arrested Monday in connection with the Sunday fire. He has been charged with assault, reckless endangerment and arson.
The fire, on the 13th floor of an apartment building on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, landed two officers in critical condition in area hospitals and left five others, including two firefighters, with minor injuries.
The fire was set on a mattress in the hallway. Dockery told police he tried to stomp it out, then ran to his cousin’s apartment, on the same floor, for help.
Officers Dennis Guerra, 38, and Rosa Rodriguez, 36, responded to a call about a suspicious fire, taking the elevator up to the 13th floor.
It is unclear whether a sign was posted at the elevators stating not to use them in the event of a fire.
Surveillance footage shows the officers were hit with a plume of smoke when the elevator doors opened.
“[Guerra’s] literally right at the door and you see this rush of blackness that comes in,” a police source told the New York Daily News. “You barely see him as he turns, then it's all black.”
"The NYPD's primary objective when responding to any emergency is to protect life and property,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster. “In situations involving a fire, officers will warn and assist occupants in the evacuation of the building and take other actions if necessary to preserve life."
"Today is another sobering reminder of the dangers that face all our first responders," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
“[Dockery] said he was bored,” the source said. “He's a firebug."
Dockery was also hit with a charge of robbery and grand larceny when a neighbor recognized him as the man who threatened her with a razor blade on March 7.
He has a previous arrest related to another fire.