Man accused of throwing Molotov cocktail at police cruiser will head to trial


A Portsmouth man accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police cruiser and setting it on fire will soon head to trial.

22-year-old Ethan Scott was charged with attempted capital murder on a law enforcement officer, use of bomb and arson after the incident on November 8, 2017.

“A lot of people are accused of crimes that they didn’t commit,” said Scott’s attorney Steven Washington.

In this case, Washington says Scott falls in that category.  Police say Scott hurled the fire bomb off the top of a building.

The incident happened just before 2 on a cold November morning.  A police officer told the court he was working extra duty to monitor the bars at the intersection of Dinwiddie and High streets.

He told he judge he got out of his car because of some disorderly conduct and the next thing he heard was boom.

When he turned around his cruiser was on fire.

A witness later told the officer she saw the man on the roof.

“She testified that she was able to see a while male wearing all black and a hoodie,” Washington added. “That almost described every white male on High Street.”

Police arrested Scott a short time later.  He matched the description.  Officers say there were shoe prints on top of the building that matched the shoes he was wearing.

“That’s the only thing that they have is that witness and some shoe prints that they don’t have the measurements for,” Washington said.

Scott’s attorney believes his client was singled out because he had a run in with police earlier in the night. The officer testified he wrote Scott a summons for skateboarding into an intersection.

Officers say they also found a Molotov cocktail that wasn’t burned near a ladder by the building.  Police testified the area reeked of gasoline, but Scott’s attorney says if that’s the case, how come his client didn’t smell like gas?

“The only thing that they have was ‘I smelled his hands and he didn’t smell like it,’” Washington added.  “There was a very strong odor of gasoline, but he didn’t have it on him.”

A judge found him guilty of the skateboarding charge and gave Scott a $100 fine.

The judge said there was enough evidence to move all the felony charges to trial.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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