Illuminated (Security Camera Video)

Another story that’s immeasurably enhanced by its security camera video. From True’s 12 December 2010 issue.


It was all captured on a security camera in front of a pub in Crawley, West Sussex, England: one man threw bricks through the glass door to make a hole, and the second man tossed a lit firebomb into the hole. But the second man missed, and the bomb bounced right back, landing right where the first man was crouching, and exploded into a fireball. Neither man received significant injury, and once they recovered from the shock they turned and ran — and the first man ran straight into a light pole, knocking him to the ground. When he went to a clinic for treatment for his injuries, police made the collar. Despite the video evidence, Amir Ali, 28, denied being involved, but was convicted. Police still don’t know who the other man is. (RC/London Telegraph) …Surely there’s a lamp post out there with his name on it.

Amir Ali Mug Shot
Post-Whack Mug Shot: Amir Ali has been jailed for 8 years.

And now the video:

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16 Comments on “Illuminated (Security Camera Video)

  1. I must be hard to see where you’re going when a bomb has just gone off in front of your face!

    Yep: running into the dark after having that flash, it’s no wonder he didn’t see the pole. But he probably clearly saw stars after hitting it! -rc

  2. Looking at the video, I don’t think the brick went through the glass. It looks like it hit, cracked it, hung there briefly, and then dropped straight down like a … well, like a brick. And the brick-thrower (Amir Ali) bent down and reached over to pick it up and try again. Meanwhile, his as-yet-unknown compatriot didn’t realize the brick didn’t go though, so went ahead and tossed the bomb, which, of course, bounced off and did what bombs do.

  3. I’m surprised that a bump on the head is all he got for his trouble. He should have been burned by the fireball at least.

    Yeah: I was surprised he had eyebrows in his mug shot. -rc

  4. Looks like two “terrorists”. They could have been upset by an alcohol-serving establishment in their neighborhood. Or maybe they were refused service….

  5. The firebomb bounceback was funny enough, but running into the lamp post was straight out of a Road Runner cartoon. Apparently the Coyote wasn’t such a far-fetched character, after all.

  6. “Despite the video evidence, Amir Ali, 28, denied being involved….”

    How the hell could the cops, or anyone, claim to identify either of the perps from this footage? As RC notes, Ali doesn’t seem to have any burn marks – unless he showed up at the clinic wearing a white, scorched, hoodie and smelling of kerosene, the case against him looks very weak from here.

    The story doesn’t say that anyone claimed to have identified him from the video. There were criminal convictions before the age of security cameras, yaknow? The quoted sentence could be interpreted the way you suggest, but the video is more informative about “what happened” than “who did it,” and I’m quite sure the conviction is based on other evidence. -rc

    • Perhaps the evidence consisted of paint flakes from the lamp post on his face, combined with his blood and skin on the lamp post?

  7. This happened not far from where I live and I know the area – Broadfield Barton – quite well. A significant proportion of the local populace are the type of people who would fire-bomb a pub for fun – and the fact that the culprit denied it despite the proof just adds proof of the lack of brain-cells.

  8. I think I would have pleaded “No Contest” just to avoid the humiliation of a Prosecutor and jury giggling at me during a trial.

    Of course if it were you, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place. You’re smart enough to have the ability to write a complete sentence. I suspect that guy isn’t…. -rc

  9. I install security cameras for a living and seeing clips like this make my job all the more worthwhile.

    The camera did very nicely in low-light conditions, not to mention the sudden brightness. -rc

  10. Ahhh, sweet justice! Now, if we could just plant some light poles in Washington. Cowboy up!

    Washington, eh? You mean in the halls of Congress? That could catch a lot of criminals! -rc

  11. Introducing the latest in crime prevention, the common, every day lamp post. More cost effective than hiring security guards and they don’t take up much space, either.


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