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Man charged with attempted arson of Hyannis restaurant

Lucas B. Penna

Barnstable Police Department

Lucas B. Penna

A Cape Cod man was charged with attempting to burn a building after he was identified as the culprit who tried to torch a Brazilian restaurant in Hyannis, and then later threw a brick through the restaurant’s window, police said.

Lucas B. Penna, 43, is slated to be arraigned in Barnstable District Court today on charges of attempting to burn a building, willful injury to a building, and possession of an infernal machine, a Molotov cocktail. Penna is a national of Brazil who is living in the United States on a visa, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has now placed a detainer for his arrest, for possible deportation, authorities said.

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Penna was arrested by Barnstable Police Officer Matthew Bulman Friday morning after Bulman – who has encountered Pena for unspecified reasons before – identified him as the suspect in video surveillance vandalizing the restaurant, Prova Brazil, in Hyannis.

Barnstable police said they were notified by the owner of the restaurant on Main Street at about 7:30 a.m. Friday that someone had broken his window. A further inspection showed that someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at the building, but that the device failed to ignite.

Authorities checked the building’s surveillance video system, and the footage showed that at about 1:30 a.m. that morning a man operating a moped stopped on the side of the restaurant and then threw a bottle at the building. The man then threw a brick through the window. Authorities later found that the bottle contained flammable liquid.

Later Friday morning, Bulman encountered Pena operating his moped on Main Street. He was arrested without incident.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at mvalencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.
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