Feds: Friend supplied bottles to NYPD fire bomb suspect
The device shattered two windows but did not ignite; none of the four officers in the vehicle were seriously injured
By Michael R. Sisak
NEW YORK — Federal authorities arrested a man Saturday they say supplied glass bottles to a woman charged with hurling a Molotov cocktail at an occupied New York City police vehicle during unrest after George Floyd's death.
In court papers, prosecutors said Tim Amerman admitted to law enforcement agents that he invited Samantha Shader to take bottles from his recycling bin as she headed to the protests on May 29, but didn't think she'd be using them to create an incendiary device.
Amerman, 29, of Saugerties, New York, said he also gave Shader masks, rope, plastic baggies, marijuana and $10 in gas money, and that she took a hammer from his tool bucket, according to prosecutors.
Amerman is charged with civil disorder and civil disorder conspiracy. He was ordered jailed following an initial court appearance Saturday in Albany and is due back in court Monday for a hearing to move the case to Brooklyn. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Information on a lawyer who could comment on his behalf wasn't immediately available.
Shader, 27, of Catskill, is accused of tossing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van during at-times violent protests in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, days after Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
A bystander who was recording video of the incident picked up the bottle and gave it to police, prosecutors said. It was an old Bulleit bourbon bottle. Amerman, who works as a painter, told investigators that’s his preferred brand of bourbon, prosecutors said.
The device shattered two windows but did not ignite, and none of the four officers in the vehicle were seriously injured. Shader was arrested within days of the incident and has been jailed since. Shader's sister faces state charges for allegedly jumping on a police officer's back and attempting to stop the arrest.
In an interview with law enforcement agents, prosecutors said Shader admitted throwing the Molotov cocktail, but falsely claimed she was given the bottle by a Black man she encountered on the street.
Messages seeking comment were left with Shader's lawyers.
Authorities learned it was Amerman who allegedly supplied the bottles from a note left inside the car that Shader took to meet a friend so they could carpool to the protest, prosecutors said.
“I found a few more glass bottles Than I thought I had, Though still not many,” said the note, which prosecutors said bore Amerman's fingerprints.
Prosecutors contend some of Amerman's social media posts indicate he supports rioting and related criminal activity, such as one Shader said she also shared that states Black people “have every right to burn down a country they built for free.”
Exchanging messages with another user on Facebook the night of the firebomb attack, Amerman said he passed on an invitation to join the protests but “kitted out some others,” prosecutors said.