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Drunk customer ignites NYC restaurant for botching his chicken biryani order: police

An angry customer drunkenly torched a Bangladeshi restaurant in Queens earlier this month because they messed up his order, New York City officials said on Monday.

Choephel Norbu, 49, was charged with third-degree arson, second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal mischief on Friday. New York Police Department (NYPD) officers spent over two weeks investigating the case, along with fire department officials.

During the investigation, Norbu admitted that he started a fire outside Ittadi Garden and Grill in Jackson Heights on October 2. 

Security camera footage shows a man suspiciously eyeing his surroundings before dousing a flammable liquid over the restaurant’s storefront. Seconds later, the suspect crouches down to ignite the fire, causing an explosion.

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The video appears to show the suspect scampering away with flames on his shoes. The fireball destroyed the restaurant’s glass windows, along with its air-conditioning unit – totaling at least $1,500 in damage. 

According to detectives, Norbu claimed that he was “very drunk” that night and was upset that he was not given the chicken biryani that he ordered.

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Norbu, who does not have a criminal record, was released without bail after an arraignment. A Queens County District Attorney spokesperson explained that third-degree arson does not qualify for bail.

“There were no other grounds on which to request bail as it was the defendant’s first arrest and there were no open cases against him,” the DA’s spokesperson told FOX 5 New York. “The most that could be sought was the highest level of CJA supervised release, which we requested and secured.”

Norbu is due back in court in December.

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