Brooklyn Warehouse Owner Cleared Of Arson
It's hard to believe the way this story is being reported:
A homeless metal scrapper was charged with setting a 10-alarm warehouse fire that tore through a Greenpoint warehouse complex last month.
Fifty-nine-year-old Kuczera Leszek was taken into custody this morning and is being questioned by investigators from the NYPD's Arson and Explosion Squad. He was charged with arson, burglary, reckless endangerment and petit larceny. Leszek, who is described as homeless, will be arraigned later today in Downtown Brooklyn.
Authorities believe Leszek set the fire while trying to steal copper wire from inside the former Greenpoint Terminal Market in the early morning hours of May 2nd. He, and possibly other homeless men, appear to have been attempting to burn the insulation off the copper at the time, sparking the massive fire.
It was unclear arrests of other so-called metal scrappers were being sought.
The drums have been beating in the local media in the weeks since the fire that the owner of the property, Joshua Gutman (a local Orthodox man) had set the fires himself, even though the buildings were slated for imminent demolition. Though no charges had been brought, many news sources seemed to have written him off as guilty - even pointing fingers at a previous suspicious fire that had occured in one of his properties a few years before, though he had been fully cleared of any wrongdoing.
I guess raising suspicions without any evidence and rushing to judgement is business as usual for these news sources - but it stinks.
I would hope to see an apology published somewhere in the news sources I linked now that Gutman has been cleared (again) - but I'm not holding my breath. I expect to see all the stories cover the arrest of the real source of the blaze to do so as if they haven't been appointing themselves Gutman's judge and jury up until now.