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Man charged after allegedly hurling a Molotov cocktail at a Crown restaurant

Man charged after allegedly hurling a Molotov cocktail at a Crown restaurant
Brendan Rees

A Southbank man has been charged after allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a Crown Casino restaurant, causing a small fire to erupt on September 28.

Emergency services were called to Southbank Promenade, outside Crown Casino, about 1am, after receiving reports of an “incendiary device” being thrown through the window of a restaurant.

Police arrested a 39-year-old man a short time later before charging him with reckless conduct endangering persons and two counts of arson.

Investigators were also told the man had allegedly lit a small fire in the toilets of a Whiteman St hotel just before 12.30am, before heading towards Clarendon St.

A Fire Rescue Victoria spokesperson said firefighters responded to the Whiteman St incident within four minutes after receiving multiple triple-zero calls.

The spokesperson said a small fire was contained to an outdoor area of a restaurant, which was brought under control just before 1.15am.

“Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police were also on scene, with the incident handed over to Victoria Police for investigation,” the spokesperson said.

However, FRV was unable to provide details of the Southbank Promenade fire as police were investigating.

The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, confirmed the man was refused bail on September 28, and remanded to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a committal case conference on January 18 next year.

A Crown spokesperson said it was assisting police with their investigation, while confirming the restaurants that had been impacted by the fire – including Ging Thai and Bistro Guillaume – had reopened.

“Crown’s customers’ and employees’ safety and well-being are always our number one priority, and our security team moved swiftly to contain the incident and engage the services of Victoria Police and Melbourne Fire Brigade,” the spokesperson said.

“This matter is now in the hands of Victoria Police, and we are assisting them with their investigations.”

Staff at Ging Thai declined to comment as it was owned by Crown. •

 

Caption: Maintenance workers at Bistro Guillaume after fire caused damage to property.

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