WILLIAMSBURG — A customer at a Broadway bodega bit and tried to set a store employee on fire using a can of Axe body spray after workers caught him trying to use a fake debit card, according to authorities and the shopowner.
The melee began just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, when DaQuan Murrell, 18, used a fraudulent prepaid PayPal card to charge $174 worth of items at Roshan's Deli and Grocery at 176 Broadway, police and the prosecutors said.
The items included gum, soda, candy, detergent and cigarettes, according to deli owner Malik Hasnain.
A worker who was behind the counter at the time grew suspicious and confronted Murrell, blocking him from exiting the shop, Hasnain said.
Murrell offered to leave the goods behind, but the staffer refused, instead summoning Hasnain to the store.
In the ensuing scuffle, Murrell bit the worker's right forearm, leaving a "huge bruise," authorities and Hasnain said.
The employee tried to corral him behind the cashier counter until police came, but Murrell reached for a bottle of Axe Body Spray from a shelf and used a lighter to spark a flame, aiming it at the bodega worker, officials and Hasnain said.
Murell was unsuccessful in bruning the worker and was arrested at the scene, police said.
Hasnain, who has owned the bodega for about a year, described the incident as "next level."
"It's part of the work," he said. "It's the neighborhood."
Murrell was arraigned on charges including assault, criminal weapons possession, menacing and harassment, according the DA's office. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court Dec. 10, according to prosecutors and court records.
No attorney information was available for Murrell.
Other notable crimes in the 90th Precinct include:
► A man walking back to his car from The Woods bar was kicked and punched in the face while being robbed of $100, police said.
The victim, 44, was walking to his car between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26, when three or four men approached him from behind near South Third Street and Kent Avenue, police said.
The suspects struck him in the head with an unknown object, causing him to fall to the ground, police said. The men then kicked and punched him in the face, causing both of his eyes to swell, police said.
The victim told police he thought the assailants took $100.
No one has been arrested in the incident.
► A mugger wearing a ski mask slashed a man's leather jacket before stealing his phone and wallet, police said.
The victim, 36, was outside his home on South Fourth Street near Hewest Street around 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 31 when he was approached by a person wearing a ski mask, police said.
The attacker, whose gender was unknown, reached into the man's pockets and began to remove the items, police said.
When the man started to defend himself, the robber pulled out an unknown "edged weapon" and cut the victim's leather jacket, police said.
The suspect then ran off with $300 worth of property, including a Verizon cellphone, a wallet and $40 in cash, police said.
Police are still investigating the incident.