A Cape Cod man was arrested after he was identified as the person who tried to torch a Brazilian restaurant in Hyannis and threw a brick through the restaurant’s window, police said.
Lucas B. Penna, 43, was arraigned in Barnstable District Court Monday 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 Brazilian national who is living in the United States on a visa, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a detainer for his arrest, for possible deportation, authorities said.
Penna pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
He is due to return to court Jan. 29 and is being held without bail.
Fabio De Oliviera, owner of Prova Brazil, the restaurant that was targeted, said in an interview that Penna appears to suffer from mental illness and that he was recently acting in a disorderly manner in a church on Main Street.
No one called police, however, and he was not arrested.
Penna had applied for a job at the restaurant about five months ago, before it opened, but was not hired.
De Oliviera said that he did not know him otherwise and said that he knew of no other connection that Penna might have had to the restaurant.
“It was a random thing that happened,” De Oliviera said, adding that he was thankful that his video surveillance captured the incident and that police made an arrest.
Penna was arrested by Barnstable Police Officer Matthew Bulman Friday morning after Bulman, who has encountered Penna before, identified him as the suspect in the video surveillance.
The footage showed that at about 1:30 a.m. Friday a man operating a moped stopped at the side of the restaurant and 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 Penna operating his moped on Main Street.
He was arrested without incident.Milton J. Valencia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.