Arsonist attempts to torch NYPD patrol car

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Someone tried to torch an NYPD patrol car in Manhattan — but quick-thinking witnesses managed to thwart the would-be firebug.

The scary incident unfolded just after noon when a man lit a rag on fire and tried to put it in the fuel tank of the vehicle, which was parked at West 42nd Street and 10th Avenue, sources said.

The patrol car was parked at West 42nd Street and 10th Avenue.
Peter Gerber

The patrol vehicle was parked in front of a building housing the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group 1, part of the department’s rapid response force — and folks who saw the arsonist in action swiftly alerted a nearby SRG unit.

The officers quickly put out the flames, sources said.

Attempted arson of a police car outside SRG 1 station house on west 42 street between 10th avenue and 11th avenue in Manhattan
A man lit a rag on fire and tried to put it in the fuel tank of the vehicle.
Peter Gerber

Police arrested Allen Watkins, 49, around 3 p.m. in connection with the arson, sources said.

Allen, who is apparently homeless, was taken to Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital for being emotionally disturbed, according to sources.

Additional reporting by Georgett Roberts

Attempted arson of a police car outside SRG 1 station house on west 42 street between 10th avenue and 11th avenue in Manhattan
The officers were quick to put out the fire.
Peter Gerber

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