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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri
Sayler A. Fleming, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Former Employee Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Molotov Cocktail Attack on St. Charles Restaurant

ST. LOUIS – A disgruntled former employee of a St. Charles, Missouri restaurant who attacked it with Molotov cocktails was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

On the evening of April 30, 2021, Rashaad Cotton, 25, of St. Louis County, first threw a Molotov cocktail on a residential street in a suburban area in St. Charles. Twenty minutes later, he threw another on the northeast side of the Sauce on the Side restaurant on Beale Street and one near the front door. A juvenile female with Cotton threw a Molotov cocktail at a patio area. The restaurant was open and serving customers. The pair then ran back to Cotton’s vehicle and fled, but were arrested after they crashed.

Cotton told police that he had been fired from the restaurant the night before and wanted to scare people.

Cotton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in December to a felony charge of attempting to commit arson.

Cotton also has pending charges in St. Charles County Circuit Court related to the attack.

The case was investigated by the St. Charles Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ware is prosecuting the case.

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