Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that two men have been indicted on charges related to the explosion in an alleged marijuana grow house that killed FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, who had responded to a reported gas leak in the building in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.
District Attorney Clark said, “Chief Fahy responded to a building that turned out to be a time bomb. These defendants allegedly were growing marijuana and kept flammable substances on the premises. Chief Fahy ordered residents out of the building-- including one of the defendants--and saved their lives. He was mortally injured when the force of the explosion blew off the slate roof and it struck him.”
District Attorney Clark said the defendants, Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of 465 W. 166th Street, Manhattan, and Julio Salcedo, 34, of 3450 Kingsbridge Avenue, the Bronx, have been indicted on charges of first-degree Assault, second-degree Assault, and first-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana.
Castillo and Salcedo were arraigned today before Chief Administrative Judge Robert Torres and are due back in court on November 23, 2016. If convicted of the top charge, they could face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the investigation, on September 27th, 2016, firefighters responded to the two-story building at 300 West 234th Street for a possible gas leak. They found numerous marijuana plants as well as heaters, fertilizer, and tanks of helium, allegedly maintained by Castillo and Salcedo. When the building exploded, debris killed Fahy and injured Firefighter Richard Ruebenacker.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Miras under the supervision of Christine Scaccia, Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt