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'They didn’t give me chicken biryani': Angry customer sets fire to NY restaurant that got his order wrong

Choephel Norbu, 49, can be seen in security footage lurking outside the restaurant before pouring gasoline on its facade
Choephel Norbu had to scamper away from the scene with his shoes on fire (Screenshot/New York Fire department)
Choephel Norbu had to scamper away from the scene with his shoes on fire (Screenshot/New York Fire department)

QUEENS, NEW YORK: A man from Queens deliberately set a Bangladeshi restaurant on fire because it got his order wrong. He told police that he did it because he was angry he didn't get the chicken biryani he ordered from Bangladeshi Ittadi Garden and Grill, New York City officials informed on October 17, Monday.

The New York Fire department published video footage of the customer, Choephel Norbu, 49, lurking outside the restaurant. Dressed in all black, Norbu can be seen grabbing the bucket next to him while carrying a plastic bag. He then uses a lighter in his pocket to set the bag on fire.


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When the restaurant closed for the evening, the man was spotted pouring gasoline on its facade. He then bends over to provide protection from the wind after grabbing what looks like a match or a lighter from his pocket. He attempts to set fire to the ground because the majority of the gasoline he poured had fallen to the ground. Finally, he sets off a massive fire that consumes the ground and the storefront and injures himself.

The fire service verified there was nobody inside the restaurant at the time of the incident and that just the windows had been harmed.

“I was very drunk. I bought chicken biryani. They didn’t give me chicken biryani. I was mad, and I threw it out,” Norbu told police after he was arrested, according to his criminal complaint. 

“I bought a gas can, and I threw it at the store to try to burn it out. I lit it up, and boom, it got on me,” said the man, who allegedly scampered away from the scene with his shoes on fire.

The charges against Choephel Norbu include third-degree arson, second-degree reckless endangerment, and second-degree criminal mischief. Officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) and representatives from the fire department investigated the matter for more than two weeks.

Norbu, who has no past criminal history, was released without bond following his arraignment. A spokesman for the Queens County District Attorney said that third-degree arson is not eligible for bail.

Authorities are now furious that Norbu is back on the streets, claiming they diligently tracked him down, detained him, and then watched as he was released on no bail after over two weeks.

“He sets a store on fire, he planned this, why is he out the next day?” a Queens cop raged. 

"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."

His next court appearance is set for December 18 in Queens, according to The Mirror.