A California man was arrested after he set the hair of a customer at a boba tea shop in Berkeley on fire and threatened to set ablaze several others present inside the business, according to police. The man was armed with a homemade blowtorch, hatchet and Molotov cocktails and attacked the customers unprovoked after walking into the business. The surveillance video shows just how quickly it happened and has since gone viral.
The suspect, identified by police as Brandon McGlone, 46, reportedly started his bizarre attack on two men outside a pizza shop on Monday night. Police later recovered more weapons and arms from him after making the arrest.
Berkeley police responded to a report of a man trying to light multiple people on fire Monday evening, according to a news release. According to police, McGlone first knocked the food off the table, threatened to light two customers on fire and eventually sprayed WD-40 on them as they walked away.
He then entered Feng Cha Teahouse, a boba tea shop, and threatened the customers to set them ablaze. The incident was caught on the tea shop's surveillance video. The video shows McGlone in a backpack walking into a tea shop and immediately lighting a customer's hair on fire, who was standing in line for tea.
"Once he ignited it, it just burst out into flames," said Noel Nubla, one of the customers who were sprayed with WD-40.
"He said something right before he sprayed, and it was kind of like an evil chuckle," a witness told. The witness reportedly told that she was in line at the tea shop when McGlone chased people into the store and set a fire with a blowtorch.
Police say that the fire could have been fatal and also posed risk to the lives of the other customers present inside the shop. Luckily, the customers ducked and extinguished the flames from their hair as soon as the spray was lit on fire. The video shows McGlone leaving the shop immediately after that as some customers follow him. According to police, several people nearby "tried to subdue the suspect" after he left the tea shop. In the struggle, McGlone "showed others that he was also armed with a hatchet."
"He was holding the axe and he was like just staggering around, and he was getting closer and closer and it was really scary," said another witness. Following that, police was informed who arrived at the scene and officers convinced McGlone to drop the hatchet. Upon searching him, police found knives, a machete, lighters, matches, and "Molotov cocktails."
Police have launched an investigation and is yet to find out what made McGlone attack the customers. Even the victims are clueless. According to the victims, McGlone just kept yelling something about his daughter before attacking them.
Police said that the victims didn't suffer major injuries and are doing fine. However, the attack could have been fatal. McGlone has been charged with arson, criminal threats, throwing a flammable substance on another, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of destructive devices, among other charges.