DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of New York

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Richard P. Donoghue
, United States Attorney
Contact: John Marzulli

Brooklyn Man Who Set Fire in Kings Plaza Parking Garage Sentenced to Five Years’ Imprisonment

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Evon Stephens was sentenced by United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser to five years’ imprisonment following his guilty plea to setting fire to a vehicle in the parking garage attached to the Kings Plaza Shopping Center on September 17, 2018. The amount of restitution will be determined by the Court at a later date.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and John B. DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Daniel A. Nigro, Commissioner, New York City Fire Department (FDNY), announced the sentence.

In the early morning hours of September 17, 2018, Stephens was inside the parking garage before it was open to the public, attempting to get inside vehicles stored there by automobile dealerships. At approximately 8:15 a.m., Stephens entered a Mercedes Benz and set fire to its interior. The fire soon spread to vehicles throughout the parking garage, ultimately damaging 135 vehicles and injuring more than 25 individuals. Surveillance cameras captured Stephens setting fire to the Mercedes Benz, and later running from the parking garage, stopping to make an obscene gesture with his hand toward the camera.

"With the prison sentence he received today, the defendant will be punished for setting a fire that spread to engulf over 100 vehicles, injuring innocent people in its path and endangering the first responders who brought it under control at risk to their own lives," stated United States Attorney Donoghue. Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for their work on the case.

"The actions of the defendant caused massive amounts of damage to property and numerous injuries to first responders," stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito. "Thanks to the great work of the ATF, NYPD and FDNY Arson and Explosive Task Force, this individual was quickly apprehended and punished for his crime. I would also like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting this case."

"This crime senselessly endangered the lives of FDNY members and the public, and caused tremendous property damage," stated FDNY Commissioner Nigro. "I commend our Fire Marshals, and their colleagues at the ATF, for their outstanding investigative work that led to the apprehension and sentencing of this dangerous arsonist."

Assistant United States Attorney Temidayo Aganga-Williams is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant: EVON STEPHENS
Age: 23 Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-539 (ILG)

New York Field Division