Ballston Mall: Bottle of gasoline dropped into food court

The food court in the Ballston Mall after the Molotov cocktail was thrown. (Photo courtesy

A man was detained Thursday in connection with the throwing of a Molotov cocktail from the skywalk into the food court of the Ballston Mall in Arlington Thursday.

Federal authorities have filed arson charges against Leon Alphans Traille Jr., who is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria on Friday afternoon.

Authorities say the gasoline was in a 40 ounce beer bottle and had a lighted fuse coming out of it. It shattered, but there was no explosion or fire.

Three additional bottles of gasoline were found where the suspect dropped the first bottle.

The mall, located in the 4200 block of Wilson Boulevard, was evacuated after the incident. It reopened shortly after 5 p.m.

No one was injured and police don't believe this is connected to terrorism.

Brian Kalish took his own picture inside, where investigators from different agencies quickly swarmed the area.

"People were still coming in to get lunch. It was packed. But there was a smell of gas or oil, it kind of smelled like oil,” he says.

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