On Thursday, a homeless man by the name of Leon Alphans Traille, Jr. allegedly threw a molotov cocktail from the third level of the Ballston Commons Mall’s atrium. It landed in the food court but failed to ignite.
There are several things about this that are quite scary to me personally. Not only is that mall a short drive from where I am now, but I’ve been there several times over the years to eat, to watch a movie, or to go to go see improv or stand-up at the Comedy Spot.
However, what is really, really scary to me is the glib manner in which the Alrington County Police Spokesman described it as not like an act of terror and “more like an act of stupidity.”
If that 40-oz bottle had ignited, the results could have been horrifying. And he had three more molotov cocktails in his backpack. To dismiss this as just “stupid” undercuts the potential threat posed and also lacks any gratitude that this didn’t become yet another in a long series of American tragedies that have defined 2012.