Security Officer Allegedly Set Fires in Hotels to Make Them ‘Less Popular’

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Home of the popular YO! Brunch. Photo: Courtesy of YOTEL

A Yotel security officer started eight fires inside the Times Square hotel and also at the Soho Grand, where he worked a second job, the Times reports, allegedly because he "had grown tired of patrons at the hotels’ bars and parties." Fire marshals say that Mariano Barbosa Jr. wanted to make the "hotels less popular" and lighten his workload in the process, so he began setting small fires in stairwells and in front of exit doors between during late-night shifts beginning in 2009. All of the fires were quickly extinguished; marshals tell the paper that Barbosa emerged as a suspect after he submitted to voluntary questioning and admitted that he hoped making the revelers appear more rowdy would eventually "curtail the parties." [New York Times, Earlier]