No Prison Time for Black Man Who Lit Asian Students On Fire
May 19, 2023
UC BERKELEY, CA—An African-American man who was found guilty of lighting UC Berkeley students on fire at a boba shop near campus back in 2020 has been released from custody without prison time or probation after he agreed to participate in a “diversion program” for veterans.
Brandon McGlone was convicted of multiple felonies in connection with the boba shop attack, a felony assault charge, and gun charges from a separate domestic violence case, according to court records reviewed by The Berkeley Scanner.
Alameda County district attorney’s office and the public defender’s office reached a plea deal—guess who’s the district attorney for Alameda County? Pamela Price. The first African-American woman district attorney vowing to bring more “racial equality” to the office.
In the plea deal, McGlone was referred to Veterans Treatment Court, according to Alameda County Superior Court records.
During an April 28 hearing, Judge James Cramer stated if McGlone completes the program, the case against him “would be dismissed.” However, McGlone could be sent to prison for up to eight years if he does not complete the diversion program, according to The Berkeley Scanner.
“He must successfully engage in and complete whatever course of therapy is prescribed by the treatment team and abide by whatever conditions are set forth,” Cramer said. “If he fails to do so, he could be terminated from the Veterans Treatment Court program and sentence will be imposed.”
Back on September 14, 2020, then 46-year-old Brandon McGlone tried to light two other people on fire before lighting two Asian men on fire at the Feng Cha Teahouse.
McGlone first approached two men eating outside at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. He knocked their food off the table and said he was going to light them on fire.
While the two men retreated, McGlone allegedly sprayed them with WD-40. He then approached a group of people at the Feng Cha Teahouse down the street.
Video surveillance from the establishment showed McGlone spraying WD-40 and igniting the hair of two people in the boba shop. Bystanders were quickly able to extinguish the fire as the victims subdued the assailant outside the teahouse.
As the struggle ensued, McGlone pulled out a hatchet and was quickly taken to the ground and semi-ghetto stomped into semi-submission. Police officers arrived at the scene shortly afterward and convinced McGlone to drop his hatchet.
Upon searching McGlone’s possessions, officers found multiple knives, a machete, matches, lighters, and several Molotov cocktails ready to go.