Police say a man who attempted to hold up a downtown gas station with a Molotov cocktail was thwarted by a quick-thinking customer.

At about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday morning, a man entered the Esso at 450 Bank St. brandishing the weapon, but was wrestled from the store by a customer. The device did not ignite.

Police did not identify the customer, but said he provided them with a statement.

Sgt. David Christie of the Ottawa police arson unit said the dangerous situation could have been worse.

“Any time you look at mixing a fire with a fuel station it certainly has the potential to be a problem,” he said.

Guillaume Bergeron, 19, is charged with arson with disregard for human life and possession of
an incendiary device. He was to appear in court yesterday.

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