Media Executive Charged With Causing Explosion in 94th Street Brownstone, Reports Say

A media executive cut the gas line to his brownstone at 143 West 94th Street, causing an explosion that rocked the surrounding buildings, according to news reports.

The man was apparently attempting to kill himself, police sources told the Daily News. His family was not at home at the time of the blast.

“Charles Welsh, 52, instead suffered only minor injuries to his legs after botching his bid to blow the four-story building to smithereens around 10:50 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Welsh, who ripped a huge hole in the side of his home’s elegant stone staircase, cut the gas line to the pricey residence before the blast that rattled the homes and nerves of neighbors.”

“He cut the flex pipe and the gas pipe going into the apartment, and at one point the gas started going into the apartment,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the New York Post.

Welsh co-founded financial news site mergermarket.com, which was sold for $254 million in 2006, according to the Post. He had started another news service afterward.

Welsh was charged with arson.

NEWS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce Bernstein says:

      can someone explain to me why this wasn’t an attempted act of terrorism? yes, i realize the motif was not political. But if this fellow was successful, he most likely would have killed many more than himself.

      • EricaC says:

        Because “terrorism” doesn’t mean “any terrifying thing someone does that does or could result in many deaths”.

      • dannyboy says:

        Treating someone as a Terrorist, who has no terrorist motives, would result in them losing their due civil rights.

      • Cato says:

        “can someone explain to me why this wasn’t an attempted act of terrorism?” Good question.

        Under federal law (18 USC 2331(5), https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2331 ), the term “domestic terrorism” is defined to mean “activities that—
        (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
        (B) appear to be intended—
        (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
        (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
        (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
        (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

        There hasn’t been any evidence that the gentleman here was trying to do anything other than kill himself. As likely as it may be that he would also have injured or killed other people, there is no reason to believe that he *intended* his actions to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government”.

        Terrorism isn’t measured against a “foreseeability” standard; it’s measured against an “intent” standard. And nothing here says that he intended to terrorize.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          thanks, Cato, for the intelligent and respectful answer.

          Dannyboy: is that accurate, that domestic terrorists lose their civil rights? i don’t believe that is true.

          • dannyboy says:

            Given that Mr Welsh owns a brownstone and proceeds from the sale of his company, it’s in his interest that these remain protected from the civil asset forfeiture provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

    2. Spence says:

      Terribly sad. I hope he gets the help he needs.

    3. Pedestrian says:

      He should be caused with reckless endangerment and attempted murder!

    4. Eln says:

      This man needs help. So sad, he was so sad to try and take his life. There is overwhelming physiological pain when you’re contemplating and actually trying suicide. 🙁

      • OriginalMark says:

        Yeah, but when one’s suicide attempt threatens the lives of others, my sympathy goes right out the window.

      • EricaC says:

        True. But at the same time, when someone attempts suicide in a manner that is likely to take so many people along with them, there has to be something other than care for the individual. There has to be something done to protect the community as well.