By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A teen believed to be imitating Brad Pitt's vigilante character in "Fight Club" when he set off an explosive at an Upper East Side Starbucks in 2009 was sentenced to more than three years in prison Tuesday.
Kyle Shaw, 19, pleaded guilty in September to setting off a makeshift bomb at the East 92nd Street and Third Avenue coffee shop at around 3 a.m. on Memorial Day last year.
The Chelsea teen, who was 17 at the time, was caught on audio tape weeks later professing his intentions to set off explosives at other spots in the city.
His trial run was that morning when he ignited a plastic water bottle wrapped with tape and filled with explosive powder. The blast injured no one but shattered the storefront's windows and caused other property damage.
"At the time nobody really knew exactly what the motivation behind this bomb was," Assistant District Attorney Christopher Ryan said, explaining the governor, mayor and police commissioner spoke to the public from the crime scene in an attempt to ease fears of terrorism.
Shaw faced a minimum of 15 years in prison if he did not plead guilty to a lesser charge than the class "A" felony arson charge he was indicted on.
After an investigation that lasted 46 days Shaw was caught "openly talking to his peers about having set off a bomb at Starbucks," prosecutors said at his sentencing Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Shaw and his parents, who were emotional during the proceeding, declined to speak.
His lawyer, Adam Perlmutter, said he did not believe Shaw was acting out of an obsession with "Fight Club," a movie with themes of anti-corporate anarchy.
"It's just a very troubled youth," Perlmutter said.