Molotov cocktail attack on NYPD: court orders defendants taken back into custody

A pair of lawyers charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail into a New York City police vehicle amid civil unrest last weekend was back in federal custody Friday after a federal court sided with prosecutors in keeping them detained.

The ruling from the three-member Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision to release Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman to home confinement with GPS monitoring pending bail.

Mattis, 32, and Rahman, 31, are accused of firebombing an unoccupied NYPD vehicle early Saturday as clashes between police and rioters raged throughout the city following demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

NY POST: PHOTO SHOWS WOMAN HOLDING MOLOTOV

Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman

Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman

They were taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service after the hearing. Both are charged with intentionally torching a police cruiser, and could each face up to 20 years in prison

Prosecutors allege that Mattis, a Brooklyn community board member and associate for Manhattan firm Pryor Cashman, was driving a vehicle with Rahman, a registered attorney in New York State, in the passenger seat. She allegedly got out of the vehicle and hurled an incendiary device at an empty NYPD vehicle outside Brooklyn's 88th Precinct early Saturday.

Both were arrested nearby. Images from a detention memo purport to show a masked Rahman clutching a Molotov cocktail made from a Bud Light bottle, the New York Post reported.

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The pair also passed out Molotov cocktails Friday night to crowds who were clashing with police so others could cause more destruction, prosecutors said. Authorities said they later found additional incendiary devices in their car.

Friday's court ruling comes after high-level Obama administration intelligence official guaranteed the $250,000 bail set for Rahman. Salmah Rizvi, who served in the Defense Department and State Department during the Obama administration, agreed to secure her bail during a Monday hearing in which prosecutors strongly objected to her release.

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Federal prosecutors filed an appeal Tuesday with the Second Circuit to overrule the bail decision. Mattis has been furlough from his job since April and has reportedly been suspended without pay.

In a separate, but similar incident, another woman is also accused of chucking a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van with officers inside Saturday. Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, N.Y., was arrested and faces federal charges.

Fox News Gregg Re contributed to this report.