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Brooklyn lawyers, including Ivy League attorney, face federal charges in Molotov cocktail attack on NYPD

Thankfully, the attackers made the mistake of using toilet paper instead of rags in their Molotov cocktails

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Three people have been arrested for Molotov cocktail attacks on the New York Police Department during this weekend's riots in New York City. Two Brooklyn lawyers, including an Ivy League graduate corporate attorney, and an Upstate New York woman are facing federal charges for throwing Molotov cocktails into NYPD vehicles.

According to the charging documents, Urooj Rahman, 31, threw a Molotov cocktail at an empty police cruiser that was parked outside the 88th Precinct station house in Fort Greene shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday. Rahman is registered as an attorney in New York state who graduated from Fordham University School of Law.

Surveillance video captured Rahman running into a tan minivan driven by Colinford Mattis, a lawyer and member of Community Board 5 in East New York who allegedly graduated from Princeton University and the New York University School of Law. The two sped off, police officers gave chase, and arrested Rahman and Mattis.

Police found a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper, a liquid believed to be gasoline on the passenger seat, and a gas tank in the back of the van.

Rahman and Mattis face charges of being in possession of explosive device components.

In another incident, Samantha Shader, 27, threw a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle at 1:12 a.m. Saturday in Brooklyn. The FBI said the bottle shattered two windows and damaged the inside of the vehicle.

There were four officers in the vehicle at the time of the attack. The incendiary device failed to explode because Shader reportedly used tissue paper instead of a rag, causing it to flame out in seconds. FBI acquired footage of the attack from witnesses who took video of the incursion.

Police chased Shader as she tried to flee and apprehended her, prosecutors said. Her sister, Darien Shader, was charged with obstruction of justice and released without bail Sunday.

"These defendants are charged with attacking the New York City Police Department while its Police Officers are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all," United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said. "No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at Police Officers and vehicles is justified. The Eastern District of New York will do everything in its power to protect those who protect us all, and we will ensure that criminals who use the camouflage of lawful protest to launch violent attacks against Police Officers face justice."

All three suspects are expected to make initial appearances in Brooklyn federal court on Monday via teleconference, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. They all face mandatory minimum sentences of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

No word on if celebrity Chrissy Teigen or the Joe Biden campaign will pay their bail.

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