Erica Jones

Police Seize Materials From Car That Rammed Silver Diner

Silver Diner Fire Pic by liamkraz crop
@liamkraz

Police are investigating whether a man who they say intentionally rammed his sport-utility vehicle into a diner Wednesday may have set the backseat on fire with liquids and other materials.

According to search warrants, police seized plastic bottles, liquid samples, burned debris and floor mats from the Hummer that rammed into the Silver Diner restaurant in Tysons Corner Center.

Samuel Abutoh, 59, of Springfield, has been charged with malicious wounding and destruction of property, Fairfax County Police said on Friday.

Police say Abutoh struck a 74-year-old man the second time he crashed into the Fletcher Street restaurant, witnesses said. 

A bystander then approached the car. When the bystander tried to administer aid to the driver, Abutoh lit something on fire and threw it into the backseat, the warrants say.

Abutoh then rammed the Silver Diner a third time, pinning two people against the building, police said. The car burst into flame and created a pillar of smoke that was visible through much of Tysons Corner, raw video obtained by NBC Washington shows.

Police are investigating items found in the car including three plastic bottles, three liquid samples, the air bag module and floor mats. Investigators are trying to recontruct what happened and what started the fire, the warrants show.

Abutoh remains hospitalized. Three others, including the 74-year-old man, were also injured.

A restaurant spokeswoman said Abutoh had been a cook there but was on bereavement leave.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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