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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
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Man Admits Molotov Cocktail Attack on St. Charles Restaurant

ST. LOUIS – A disgruntled former employee on Tuesday admitted attacking a St. Charles restaurant with a Molotov cocktail in 2021.

Rashaad Cotton, 25, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to a felony charge of attempting to commit arson. Cotton admitted that on April 30, 2021 at approximately 6:20 p.m., he threw a Molotov cocktail on a residential street in a suburban area in St. Charles.

Twenty minutes later, Cotton threw a Molotov cocktail on the northeast side of the Sauce on the Side restaurant on Beale Street in St. Charles, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ware said in court Tuesday. He threw another near the front door. A juvenile female with Cotton threw a Molotov cocktail at a patio area, Cotton’s plea agreement says. The restaurant was open and serving customers. The pair then ran back to Cotton’s vehicle and sped away, but crashed into a curb and were arrested.

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

At his sentencing, scheduled for April 19, Cotton could face five to 20 years in prison for the crime.

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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