Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

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.

Sickening.

43 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be overly cynical, but I'm surprised at you OM. Jumping to conclusions in either direction is out of character. It's awful to see a frum person unjustly accused, but how much do you think it would take to pay off a homeless person to set a fire? And how hard to give him a good story to tell the cops if he were caught? And is it really such a leap to think a businessman desperate to unload a warehouse might contemplate such a deal? Especially someone with the sterling reputation of Joshua Gutman?

1:18 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Jumping to conclusions in either direction is out of character.

No. He is innocent until I have any reason to think otherwise. I absolutely jump to the conclusion that he is innocent unless I see any evidence that proves otherwise, and the news sources did exactly the opposite - based simply on speculation and circumstantial evidence. I have, at this point, with a perpetrator in custody, no reason to believe that Gutman is anything but innocent. I wish him the best of luck.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while you may be correct that this fire was set by some homeless guys Josh was NOT cleared of wrongdoing in the Dumbo fire a few years back-the fire dept never concluded that he was innocent.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have, at this point, with a perpetrator in custody, no reason to believe that Gutman is anything but innocent. I wish him the best of luck.



*Applause*

Looking forward to more posts like this, OM. We need someone on our side.

1:30 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

while you may be correct that this fire was set by some homeless guys Josh was NOT cleared of wrongdoing in the Dumbo fire a few years back-the fire dept never concluded that he was innocent.


They never charged him with anything. That's enough for me. Shame on you for looking for it to be otherwise. Hard or impossible to prove a negative.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely jump to the conclusion that he is innocent unless I see any evidence that proves otherwise, and the news sources did exactly the opposite - based simply on speculation and circumstantial evidence.

And decades of tormenting tenants while bilking them for rent money and letting building fall into dangerous disrepair. I admire your ability to reserve judgment. I find it hard to believe a homeless man (or men) started a ten alarm fire with the book of matches they pilfered from the local bodega.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

Anon - 1:33

Smoldering remains of campfires start huge wildfires - do you find that hard to believe too?

I don't really understand the attempts by some of the posters here to construe the facts of this incident in the most negative way possible. Its like a reverse Dan L'kaf Z'chus.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - 1:33

Smoldering remains of campfires start huge wildfires - do you find that hard to believe too?

I don't really understand the attempts by some of the posters here to construe the facts of this incident in the most negative way possible. Its like a reverse Dan L'kaf Z'chus.


Ok, Smokey, I see your point, but none of us were born yesterday. Plus the good Mr. Gutman makes such a perfect villain. Let's see how the facts unfold - I'm sure the police are onto my theory.
-Anon 1:33

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM --

While I totally agree with you that Gutman is innocent until proven guilty, I’m completely appalled by your post.

1) Anyone who would raise this “scandal” on a popular blog clearly has ulterior motives. It is YOU, not the commenters, who are on the witch-hunt for Gutman. Congrats on accomplishing your goal of resurrecting a dead issue. Once again, OM has proven to be the facilitator of LH in our community.

2) Um, why should Gutman get any better treatment than any other suspected criminal? When was the last time a major news media source issued an apology for reporting FACTS about an investigation?

Previous fires? Yes.

Recent fire? Yes.

Gutman owns the building? Yes.

Was he contract and then some form of litigation? Yes.

Is he guilty? No.

Did the paper EVER say that he WAS guilty? No.

Get a life, OM, and stop making Gutman look worse than he did before.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'the fire dept never concluded that he was innocent'

The fire dept never concluded that *I* was innocent. The fire dept never concluded that *you* were innocent. The fire dept never concluded that Orthomom was innocent. Why is it necessary for the accused to prove his/her innocence? Why do we assume that someone is guilty until then?

2:45 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

1) Anyone who would raise this “scandal” on a popular blog clearly has ulterior motives. It is YOU, not the commenters, who are on the witch-hunt for Gutman. Congrats on accomplishing your goal of resurrecting a dead issue. Once again, OM has proven to be the facilitator of LH in our community.


I find it difficult to believe that thinking people would believe that. A "dead issue"?? Do you really delude yourself into thinking that?? The NY Times published an article pointing to all the reasons that made Gutman look guilty, and then explaining that "since arson is hard to prove", we may never know either way. Well, now we do.

2) Um, why should Gutman get any better treatment than any other suspected criminal? When was the last time a major news media source issued an apology for reporting FACTS about an investigation?

You're totally right. And you'll find that I have posted on this sort of witch hunt before, with other victims. Check my archives. Or don't.

revious fires? Yes.

Recent fire? Yes.

Gutman owns the building? Yes.

Was he contract and then some form of litigation? Yes.

Is he guilty? No.

Did the paper EVER say that he WAS guilty? No.


Um..did you read the same articles I did? Because to say that the paper's did not attempt to make a case for his guilt is ridiculous.

I understand that you don't like me, and that you want to criticize me for every post I write. And that's OK. Really. But you really should pick your battles more wisely.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Anon, this has got to be the most Orwellian doublespeak I have ever heard:

1) Anyone who would raise this “scandal” on a popular blog clearly has ulterior motives. It is YOU, not the commenters, who are on the witch-hunt for Gutman. Congrats on accomplishing your goal of resurrecting a dead issue. Once again, OM has proven to be the facilitator of LH in our community.

Huh? Did you read the post? The news she is spreading is exculpatory, not incrimnating. The notion that one is halchically responsible for the twisted reactions of people like you is ridiculous.

Um, why should Gutman get any better treatment than any other suspected criminal? When was the last time a major news media source issued an apology for reporting FACTS about an investigation?

"Suspected criminal"? When did Gutman get the upgrade? He has not been arrested or formally charged with anything. The only facilitator of LH is YOU, my friend.

Was he contract and then some form of litigation? Yes.

Now you are just pulling things out of your tuchus. What does "he contract and then some form of litigation" have to do with anything? (assuming that phrase is even English?)

Get a life, OM, and stop making Gutman look worse than he did before.

The only one guilty of that is you, my friend.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/07/nyregion/07cnd-arrest.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Officials said the 10-alarm fire at the Greenpoint Terminal Market on May 2 was the city's biggest — excluding the World Trade Center disaster — since a fire at Brooklyn's St. George Hotel in 1995. The huge plume of roiling black smoke, visible for miles, reminded many New Yorkers of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It took nearly 36 hours to extinguish the warehouse fire, and the smoldering ruins of the unoccupied buildings smoked for days.

The authorities had said since the beginning that the fire was of a suspicious origin. Today they said that Mr. Kuczera and the other man had no connections to any other group, and were in the warehouse that night simply to prepare copper wiring they had scavenged for sale to a junkyard or scrap metal dealer.

Authorities said the copper wiring, stripped of its insulation, could earn the men as much as $1.25 per pound. That price dropped 50 cents per pound if the insulation was not removed, they said.

Mia culpa, OM.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Of course. there have been people convicted of arson from the 5T's and surrounding areas.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course. there have been people convicted of arson from the 5T's and surrounding areas.

Of course.

There have been people who have not been convicted of arson from the 5T's and surrounding areas.

8:06 PM  
Blogger BARBARIANFROMCALIFORNIA said...

orthomom, what is your point here to stir up muck on another jew again? you dont like the chassidim, i bet you dont even know any. you dont loke the town you live in you dont loke the schools why are you so mean.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM don't drink the kool-aid defending this guy. It's not like he has been so law abiding as to be above suspicion. In fact it is exactly his character that has promoted the criminal theory here. Better you should defend the virtuous.

8:35 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...


Anonymous said...

OM don't drink the kool-aid defending this guy. It's not like he has been so law abiding as to be above suspicion. In fact it is exactly his character that has promoted the criminal theory here. Better you should defend the virtuous.


Please. That is exactly what I object to. He has been cleared. I defend the innocent.

8:37 PM  
Blogger BARBARIANFROMCALIFORNIA said...

oh i forgot you dont like people from Flatbush either

8:37 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Barbarian, maybe you should go comment on the other 10 Jewish blogs that posted on this topic. The same 2 trolls, again and again. It's getting tedious.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ridculous. These trolls seem to have found their way from chaptzem or one of the other of those blogs.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

orthomom, what is your point here to stir up muck on another jew again? you dont like the chassidim, i bet you dont even know any. you dont loke the town you live in you dont loke the schools why are you so mean.

stir up muck? This article is in every local paper. I did'nt see OM posting on it when he was being draged through the coals, (and she was right). She waited until he was exonarated, and then gave him some good PR. It's hard to see this post as anything but that. Barbarian, you have a weird interpretation.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM you have the rudest commentators. Where do they crawl out of? I am a reader of all of the J-blogs. No one has a clientele that is as rude as yours. (I know not all of your clientele, but a vocal and unpleasant minority) And you certainly are a careful enough blogger that no one should have a problem with you. Some of the others are much less responsible. Can you send some of these commentators their way? I won't name names but really.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Gutman's defender is a family member. Who else would be so defensive?

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM-"They never charged him with anything. That's enough for me. Shame on you for looking for it to be otherwise"
OM On the Flatbush explosion:
"Lovely....Three guesses as to whether they were operating with a permit...People seem to feel that building permits are just a technicality, and that somehow, they are above the law when it comes to building home additions, shuls or mikvahs"

A quick check of the buildings department website shows that there was no violation issued for working without a permit. The only violation was for a structual check of stability. The first violation issued when a build. dept. inspector shows up at a site, is for working without a permit when one is neccessary, the fact that there was no such violation issued lends credence to the Fox News report quoted in the other thread that there was no permit violation.In other words, this is one Flatbush dweller that was not charged, yet seems to be assumed guilty until proven otherwise.

2:42 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...


A quick check of the buildings department website shows that there was no violation issued for working without a permit. The only violation was for a structual check of stability. The first violation issued when a build. dept. inspector shows up at a site, is for working without a permit when one is neccessary, the fact that there was no such violation issued lends credence to the Fox News report quoted in the other thread that there was no permit violation.In other words, this is one Flatbush dweller that was not charged, yet seems to be assumed guilty until proven otherwise.


The contractor was charged for operating without a permit. If you are a careful reader, you will note that I made it very clear here that I don't"blame" the homeowners. As a matter of fact, I said they bear no moral resposibility, as the contractor should have obtained permit. That said, homeowners should always ask the contractor if he has obtained the necessary permits. Also, this comment is on the wrong thread.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon of 3:54

"Mia culpa, OM"

I thought Soon-Yi was to blame???

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what - no posting on the fact that the guy in jail has an alibi

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

burglar alarm systemhttp://www.alarmmonitorsecurity.infoWhen I was young i used tot hink that power and wealth would bring me happiness..........I was right.burglar alarm system

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Buy Levitra said...

Great article! Thanks.

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Payday loans said...

Nice Blog!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Thank You! Very interesting article. Do you can write anything else about it?

10:21 AM  
Anonymous buy Levitra Online said...

Very interesting site. Blog is very good. I am happy that I think the same!

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

10:38 PM  
Anonymous dental care said...

I like this post called Brooklyn Warehouse Owner Cleared Of Arson, is very interesting!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Hello friend excellent and very interesting post about Brooklyn Warehouse Owner Cleared Of Arson thanks for sharing!!!

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are tons of choices when it comes to payday loans, in the lender's hand to accommodate you for the loan accede to. [url=http://trustedpaydayloans.org.uk]pay day loans online[/url] This can admit accommodating carrot records on auto loans or credit Nachtmusik lenders and choose to what is best admissible for you. Avoid getting into a you to analysis online to get aimlessly the best deals to save affluence.

12:43 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin outlet, kate spade handbags, air max, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet stores, nike shoes, louboutin, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, longchamp handbags, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet, nike free, christian louboutin shoes, prada outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany and co, coach purses, burberry outlet, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, michael kors outlet, coach outlet store online, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, air max, gucci outlet, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags

2:04 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

hollister clothing store, north face outlet, valentino shoes, air max, soccer jerseys, lululemon outlet, abercrombie and fitch, uggs outlet, moncler, moncler, nfl jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, new balance shoes, celine handbags, giuseppe zanotti, rolex watches, chi flat iron, ugg pas cher, mont blanc, herve leger, canada goose jackets, wedding dresses, canada goose, canada goose, moncler, bottega veneta, canada goose uk, babyliss pro, mcm handbags, baseball bats, ghd, ferragamo shoes, ugg australia, soccer shoes, canada goose, p90x, birkin bag, canada goose outlet, ugg boots, instyler, ugg, beats by dre, ugg boots, asics running shoes, north face jackets, iphone 6 cases, moncler outlet, reebok outlet, marc jacobs, insanity workout

2:07 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors, nike roshe, michael kors pas cher, nike free pas cher, polo ralph lauren, nike blazer, sac burberry, air jordan, hollister, longchamp, nike trainers, nike roshe run, vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, north face, timberland, louis vuitton, longchamp, sac longchamp, oakley pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, hollister, michael kors, ray ban pas cher, polo lacoste, nike huarache, barbour, new balance pas cher, sac louis vuitton, sac hermes, nike roshe run, vans shoes, sac guess, mulberry, nike free, mac cosmetics, abercrombie and fitch, lululemon, louboutin, air max, air force, louis vuitton uk, hogan outlet, converse pas cher, north face, nike tn, ralph lauren, hollister, sac louis vuitton, nike air max

2:09 AM  
Blogger Angela Navejas said...

Nice Info! There are so many scrap metal dealers who buys the metal by their weighing their weight.

Scrapyards in New York City | Recycling Scrap Metals

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

went through the hurdles he went through to do the AT&T procedure me he got to the end and nobody would make it everybody called said well we won't do it we won thirty or forty thousand dollars so I

http://binaryoptionpay.com/
http://findbinaryoption.com/
http://findbestbinaryoption.com/
http://findtopbinaryoption.com/
http://binaryoptiontopbroker.com/
http://binaryoptionwork.com/
http://binaryoptionworkhelp.com/
http://binaryoptionworksupport.com/
http://listedbinaryoption.com/
http://reliablebinaryoption.com/

6:04 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home