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Small-Time Arsonist Targets Sunnyside Gardens

August 18, By Christian Murray

There were four fires deliberated set by an unknown suspect in Sunnyside Gardens this morning, according to police.

The fires all took place around 49th and 50th Streets at about 5:00 a.m. There were no injuries.

The first fire was set outside 39-41 49th Street—where former Councilman Eric Gioia lives. According to police, a Mercury Mariner was set on fire and the vehicle was destroyed. According to sources, that car belongs to Gioia.

Meanwhile, at 39-82 50th Street, some trash and a discarded carpet were set on fire. There was no major damage.

There was also a fire set outside of Donato’s Restaurant & Pizzeria at 50-22 39th Avenue, as well as a garbage can set on fire at 39-10 49th Street. There was no sign of major damage.

Donato’s was operating as normal on Sunday.

The police believe that all the incidents are connected and are looking for a light-skinned male. They have no further information.

For a NBC News piece, please click here.

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

Super, you seem like an educated person, more or less. Perhaps you can look up the words “sarcasm” and “satire” in the dictionary. If you need help, let me know.


“mean streets” of Sunnyside – not the movie. To Julia J, who maybe thought I was referring to the film. You see it as an attempt to romanticize an arsonist? Calm down, you’re getting a little carried away with yourself. Quoting Tennyson? How precious.

Oil, Beef, Hooked

Superwitty, what the hell does that silly quote have to do with anything?

If you’re trying to romanticize what this stupid schmuck did, at least pick some better literature. How about:

“O love, O fire! once he drew
With one long kiss my whole soul through
My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.”

― Alfred Tennyson

If you want to be a dull, pretentious literature snob, do it right.


“…down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything.”

Raymond Chandler


I don’t care if this asshole is white, Hispanic etc whatever he is he needs to be caught! That was my cousins car! And it scared his wife and the kids!


Good job by NYPD- give credit where credit is due. It will be interesting to hear analysis of the methods used in his capture: was he really part of a group? an eco-terrorist? was this indeed an act of passion? did a canvas of the local barber shops lead to an ID? Is he actually a light-skinned male, or a hipster? Was he attracted to this neighborhood by all of the recent publicity?

More importantly- will this crime story lead to more crime dramas being filmed on our mean streets? Will more TV crews appear and take up our parking spaces as they try & capture the edginess in northern Sunnyside? August is always an exciting month.

Oil, Beef, Hooked

In the past, haven’t eco-terrorists set fire to SUV’s and other large vehicles the consider environmentally unfriendly? An angle worth looking into.

Get Help

Light skinned male is not about being sued. He could be light skinned black, or Hispanic or bi racial or….? honestly the video sucks. All we know is he isn’t straight haired genetically. yeah ok. So why say light skinned Hispanic and then he turns out to be black or a bi racial guy is passed as a suspect because he isn’t Hispanic.

It is about correct identifying the subject.

in this case. a lean or thin young male with a tight cut of curly or kinky hair. of average or above average height.

they should check the local barber shops a do like that needs to be cut regularly. like weekly.


The description of the individual in this piece is way off. Look at the facial features and the hair.


Too much publicity. Way too much publicity. Now we are attracting crime. I liked it better when we were scrubbier, but had a low profile and felt safe. Now crime is breaking out all over.


The northside is receiving a lot of publicity because of the Rispoli murder and the Van Bramer break in. It is getting negative publicity and attracting weirdos.


Stop and frisk any minorities on the north side. There’s a 6 percent chance of yielding something.

South Side Johnny

To some people, all of these “crimes” are obviously connected. (!) I all can think is that the north side of the boulevard is really getting scary.


Under the legislation supported by Sunnyside’s City Council representative, “light skin male” is the best the police can do to describe a suspect and not risk getting sued. Get use to it.


Light skinned male. Sometimes reporting is not reporting. Just leave that part out next time guys it isn’t in any way helpful. We don’t have an age, race, hair color, height…Jesus why don’t you just say “some guy”. Obviously whoever is doing this is getting more brazen. Might consider stepping up your patrols eh, 108?


Time to take back our area before it is lost forever,people must know who all these criminals are,Zero Tolerance needed,lets start with the drinking in the parks,littering,drag racing etc,so much can be taken care of locally.

Will Gettem

By small time arson do you mean they lit Eric Gioioa’s car on fire and caused it to explode in his driveway potentially setting the entire block on fire? Because this might seems a little bit more big time to someone that lives in the row of house adjoining. This seems like a crime of passion; like an expression of some serious anger. I’d love to know the back story on these crimes. It seems like some rich material hiding under the surface.


I really hope they catch this sick SOB… Gardens residents should install some surveillance cameras.


What’s next is someone will be stabbed or robbed in broad daylight, oh wait, that happened when the guy made someone withdraw money from ATM by force, was he caught? I forgot.

Police did not do anything after the recent break-ins, obviously it is the same group of people burglarizing homes and setting these fires, deliberately near our local politicians. We still do not have enough cameras or patrol in the area..

Light skinned male? This is hilarious.


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