A man injured by a fire deliberately set at the gas pumps of a 7-Eleven is speaking out. Gerard Lara told NBC New York that he had been getting gas for his own car when the fire broke out on Monday night: "I hear a bang. It sounded like metal-on-metal. Maybe 10 seconds later, I see a flame. My immediate reaction was to duck down behind my car."
Police are looking for a man who drove up to the 7-Eleven at 1705 Richmond Avenue on Staten Island early Monday and bought a gas canister, filled it, then sprayed the ground with gasoline and lit the gas on fire. The NYPD released a second video of the incident:
Lara suffered internal injuries and was taken to Richmond University Medical Center. He told NBC New York he was unable to see through "the thick smoke and fire-stopping foam," but managed to find his way inside the station, where he coughed up blood and collapsed.
The suspect, who fled, was last seen wearing a light colored long-sleeved shirt, dark colored shorts and dark colored slippers. Police say he arrived at the location inside of a blue mini-van.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.