LYNN -- A former homeless man who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at two people sleeping in an unused sewer pipe in June was retaliating for an attack earlier that day, according to prosecutors speaking at his arraignment today in Lynn District Court.
Brian Bowman, 28, appeared in court wearing a gray Boston Celtics T-shirt. A not guilty plea was entered on Bowman's behalf at the start of the hearing, where Jason Grosky, an assistant district attorney in the Essex County district attorney's office, detailed the alleged attack and subsequent confession.
According to authorities, Bowman lit a Molotov cocktail then threw it into an unused concrete sewer pipe at 229R Lynnway at about 1:30 a.m. on June 26, where Joseph Ross, 44, and Evelyn O'Neil-Choury , 43, were sleeping. The victims were severely injured, with Ross suffering third degree burns and O'Neil-Choury suffering second degree burns.
In court today, Grosky said Bowman told authorities on Friday that he had attacked the couple because earlier that day Ross had threatened him a knife and attempted to steal his fishing gear. Ross has not been charged with any crime.
Bowman was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery and two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Judge Matthew Nestor ordered Bowman held on $20,000 bail. Prosecutors had initially asked for $25,000 bail, while Bowman's court-appointed lawyer, Joann Hnat asked for a lower bail, suggesting $1,500 or $2,000.
"I would say that I thought the bail I asked for was more sufficient given my client's financial situation," said Hnat in an interview after the arraignment.
Bowman's confession came after he approached police the day before, complaining that he had been assaulted.
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