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Saturday, January 16, 2010

American Diner Owner Faces Arson Charge

The owner of the American Diner on East 204th Street in Norwood is behind the fire that destroyed his business, a Foodtown, and a dental office on Dec. 21, a Fire Department spokesman told The New York Times.

Mohammed Abdul Quadir was arrested yesterday on arson and other charges. The authorities believe he paid another man, Christopher J. Gooding, about $2,000 to start the blaze. Gooding has also been arrested.

Quadir, who is up to his eyeballs in debt, had recently taken out a $500,000 insurance policy on the diner, and saw arson as a way out of his financial predicament, the FDNY spokesman said.

Here's the Bronx News Network's coverage of the fire and its aftermath (scroll down for additional posts). It was the third major fire in the area since April.


  1. I think it is so sad that that man did that to us. He knows all of us in the neighborhood. He should rot in hell. Look at the devastastion he caused the neighborhood. Just cause HE was in debt, dont he know that everyonesin debt right nnow. Do you know how many times I went in there and saw roaches running wild in there but still went cause all of us met in there to sit and chat. WHAT AN ASSHOLE. MAY HE SPEND THE REST OF HIS ARAB LIFE IN OUR "AMERICAN JAIL"

  2. The anger directed at Mr. Abdul Quadir is understandable. This anger, however, does not justify anti-Arab racism or any sort of racism. Frankly, it is not even clear that Mr. Abdul Quadir is Arabic. Racism is usually born out of ignorance. 8am 1/18/10 "Anonymous" is certainly displaying it.

  3. what does the guy's ethnicity have anything to do with this situation? so if it was an African-American, would anyone say let the african-american spend the rest of his black life in jail? i dont think so.

    stop hating on arabs. ignorance isnt as blissful as it may seem.

  4. Living the American dream.

    A failing business and "up to his eyeballs in debt"; I am sure he had plenty of options. Perhaps a barrel of a gun or better yet sell his beach front in Malta.

    I blame Obama because there is nothing left of my Main Street.

  5. Why blame Obama??

    This guy has owned the diner for 3 years. That was Bush's watch.

    Blame Quadir - he got greedy

  6. He made a very poor personal choice to solve what he saw was a bad situation. Let just hope there are no more "bad situations" are out there.

  7. I am acquainted with Mr.Quadir, or Kadir as he introduced himself. He is a very sweet man. I am very sad for the loss of VITAL stores, the diner,a good place to congregate in my neighborhood, which is very needed, and now only replaced by McDonald's--I'd much rather support a mom and pop business than a corporation any day--sad for the folks who owned the businesses, who have sufered so much and probably couldn't afford fire insurance, and for the employees--what a time to loose one's job. I also feel for Kadir, and have an inkling of understanding of the absolute desperation that led him to make the truly unfortunate choice he made. He is suffering, as well as his family and loved ones. It's a no win situation for everyone. Right now I'm visiting a friend in Columbus, Ohio. I travel a lot, and have seen a number of small cities and towns in America, and what I see is horrendous. I'm a native New Yorker, grew up working class, and have managed to live in pretty nice neighborhoods my whole life, in 4 of the boroughs. The poverty I see in the Bronx, as well as the small towns and cities in America is outrageous. And thanks to greed and complete misguidance of government that supports greedy corporations. I guess this is the end result of capitalism--we're seeing it now full blast, a system where people slowly or quickly drown in poverty, or attempt desperate acts that affect communities and their own families in very harsh ways. I never thought I'd see this poverty (that has always existed) here--I was in a bubble--that bubble has exploded. Can and does this administration offer the radical change needed for these radical problems? The present "system " that took awhile to establish seems so cemented down that change seems ALMOST impossible to me.................

    What a shame
    First of all Mr. Qadeer in not arabic, He is From Bangladish" That is not important where he is from but what is sad that we made a judjment before we know the truth
    I know that Mr. Qadeer is a very good person and he will never do that..... But when there is big insurance mony involved they have to blame some one ........... go figure

  9. he should rot he can't pay his workers so just close down he don't live here he don't care about us I wish I spit on him the low life

  10. I find arson cowardly and contemptible. Like the rest of the community, I sorely miss the businesses lost, especially the American Diner which, for me, was a hub of the neighborhood. At the same time, I feel tremendous compassion for Mr. Quadir. I know him as a gentle, kind man. If it turns out the fire was his doing - and let's not forget he is innocent until proven guilty - the pressure and sense of shame that drove him to this must have been immense. We cannot condone the action, but we can compassion the pain that brought those actions about.

  11. I am shocked at this news! I used to eat in that diner all the time and was very familiar with Mr. Quadir. It is a shame that he was reduced to such actions but it shows us the ugly side of our economy on hardworking individuals. While his alleged actions are dispicable, he was a good man. On many occassions he would offer free food to those in need and give discounts to all the elderly folks that regularly came in.

    I feel horrible for the neighborhood. I recently moved out and remember all the friendly faces and good times. Truthfully, the neighborhood is a sign of a struggling area in desparate need. I hope that the rebuilding of local business help change the identity of the entire neighborhood. Fight for what is yours!


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