Man threw lit Molotov cocktail at DC police officer: Feds

Federal prosecutors announced charges Friday against a man they say threw a lit Molotov cocktail at a police officer sitting in an unmarked car in the nation’s capital.

Ashton Nesmith, 23, is accused of walking up to a police officer who had just entered the vehicle outside a police station in Northeast Washington around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, lighting the flammable liquid in the bottle and throwing it at the officer, according to federal prosecutors.

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The Molotov cocktail hit the police car, bounced off and then exploded, officials said. No one was injured.

Neshmith fled from the scene, but officers chased him on foot and took him into custody, police said.

He was charged with arson, using and discharging a destructive device during a crime of violence and possessing a destructive device. Nesmith appeared in federal court in Washington on Thursday and was ordered held without bail.

“The conduct alleged in the criminal complaint posed grave danger to DC Metropolitan Police Department officers, at a time when officers continue to risk their lives to serve and protect the public during this time of crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea.

A telephone number listed for Nesmith in public records was not in service and the name of his attorney was not immediately known.