A formerly homeless man was arrested and charged with injuring two homeless people when he threw a Molotov cocktail into the large concrete pipe where the victims were staying, Lynn police and fire investigators said.
Brian Bowman, 28, admitted throwing the lighted Molotov cocktail into an unused concrete sewer pipe in a vacant lot at 229R Lynnway around 1:30 a.m. June 26, while the victims were inside, according to a fire investigation report.
Bowman was arrested Friday after a joint effort by the Lynn arson investigation unit and police tracked down Bowman, who was living with a girlfriend when he was arrested, said Fire Lieutenant Dave Legere.
“I don’t think he realized how seriously they were injured and after he heard about how bad it was the next day, he made himself scarce for a while,” Legere said.
Bowman knew the two victims and had stayed at the site before, Legere said. Bowman, who at the time was staying at the Lynn homeless shelter, had reportedly argued with the 44-year-old male victim earlier that day and came back to retaliate, Legere said. The male victim suffered third-degree burns on his legs and groin and the female victim, 43, suffered second-degree burns on her feet. Both were treated at Union Hospital and have since recovered.
Police said many homeless people stay in the area near Lynn Harbor. The pipe the two victims were in is one of several large unused drainage pipes lined up in a vacant lot where the Beacon Chevrolet car dealership used to be. Homeless people often drape blankets over the ends of the pipes and sleep inside them, the investigation report said.
Legere said police and fire investigators acted on a tip from a homeless person in the area who had heard Bowman bragging about the attack to other homeless people. Bowman is expected to be arraigned today on two charges of assault and battery with serious bodily injury.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more