Jury Convicts Man Who Threw Molotov Cocktail at T.G.I. Fridays
Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and John Torres, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives for the San Francisco Field Division, announce that CHRISTOPHER HALLMARK, age 23, a resident of Reno, Nevada, was convicted by a jury today in United States District Court in Reno for attempting to damage and destroy a Reno restaurant, T.G.I. Friday's, with explosive materials. HALLMARK and co-defendant ROBERT RUDEEN were indicted in U.S. District Court in Reno on February 19, 2003; RUDEEN pleaded guilty last Friday and is scheduled for sentencing on October 31, 2003.
According to the court records, on February 10, 2003, CHRISTOPHER HALLMARK, ROBERT RUDEEN, and others were drinking at the T.G.I. Friday's restaurant at 6410 South Virginia Street in Reno. Following a dispute over the bill, HALLMARK, RUDEEN, and the rest of the party left T.G.I. Friday's for Pizza Baron restaurant in Reno. They continued to drink, and purchased a bottle of 151-proof rum and drank part of it. At approximately 10:30 p.m., HALLMARK, RUDEEN, and others left Pizza Baron restaurant and returned to T.G. I. Friday's, where they parked across the street and to the east of the restaurant. HALLMARK and RUDEEN then walked to an area just outside the restaurant, and one of them threw a rock at one of the restaurant's windows and broke it. The restaurant was occupied at the time. They next lit a piece of towel and used it as a wick in the partially-filled bottle of rum they had purchased earlier. HALLMARK threw the lighted bottle at the building, but it failed to ignite the building. The defendants then fled the scene.
HALLMARK was placed into custody following the verdict, and is scheduled for sentencing November 7, 2003.
Under federal statutes, both defendants are facing five to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will be imposed by the Court and dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Pugliese and Ron Rachow.