A man accused of setting a Brooklyn nightclub ablaze earlier this month has been arrested by U.S. Marshals.
The Rash nightclub has only been operating in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood since October of last year. The venue had become a preferred spot among the community’s LGBTQ+ clubbers. But on April 3rd, Rash sustained a fire that reportedly left the property vastly unsalvageable.
Now, 24-year-old John Lhota has been identified by security footage and charged with arson. NYC Mayor Eric Adams confirmed the arrest in a statement on Twitter.
Sources say Lhota was seen leaving his apartment just a half-mile from Rash before purchasing and filling a red canister of gasoline. Lhota then allegedly entered the club, doused the floor with gasoline, and set it ablaze. Guests of the club were sent fleeing the scene in a panic as the blaze escalated. The fire reportedly injured two workers; a bartender and a DJ, sending both of them to the hospital.
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Due to the extent of the damage, any attempt to bring Rash back will have to start from the ground up. In a statement provided to the New York Post, Jack Sillen, one of the club’s owners, said management remains committed to doing just that, asserting that Rash will reopen “no matter how long it takes us.”
Rash has launched a GoFundMe page to support those affected by the attack.