NYC homeless man accused of setting stranger on fire on subway hurled flaming alcohol: prosecutors

The disturbed homeless man accused of setting a stranger on fire onboard a Manhattan subway train was ordered held on $250,000 bail Monday — as prosecutors revealed it was a flaming can of alcohol he hurled.

Nile Taylor, 49, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court for both the attack over the weekend and a similar earlier one. He is charged with assault, attempted assault, and menacing.

In the most recent incident, Taylor allegedly lit a cup of flammable liquid and threw it, badly burning 23-year-old Petrit Alijaj on a downtown No. 1 train as it pulled into the Houston St. stop about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Aryan Ahmadian said Monday the liquid was a can of alcohol.

“The defendant then attacked two strangers inside of that subway train by throwing the burning liquid on them.” said Ahmadian.

The fire caused severe burns to Alijaj’s face, neck, ears, arm and chest and a second victim also suffered burns on the chest, said the prosecutor. Taylor is also being charged with a misdemeanor for stealing a passenger’s iPhone as he fled the station.

The stolen cell phone allowed cops to track Taylor to Canal St. and Renwick St., where he was arrested shortly after the shocking attack.

According to a criminal complaint, Taylor confessed to an NYPD detective he was responsible for the fiery attack, which left Alijaj covered in blisters.

Alijaj was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell, where he was in stable condition.

“I was on the train and a maniac like put fire on my body, and he left the train,” Alijaj told ABC7 New York Eyewitness News Sunday.

Alijaj told the station Taylor gave him an odd look but said nothing before the assault on him, his fiancée and cousins.

“He had a cup with the fire and the train stopped at Houston St. We thought when he go for the door, we thought he’s leaving, he’s getting off. He waited for the door to open and then he put the fire on me,” Alijaj said.

“When I saw it, I protect the others with my body,” he added.

Taylor was also charged with another fire attack that took place on Feb. 5 on the No. 1 train platform at the 28th St. station in Chelsea. In March, the NYPD released startling surveillance footage of that incident and asked the public’s help identifying the attacker.

“The defendant was following three men out of the subway station. The defendant was carrying two burning cans, one in each hand and then throwing the burning liquid in the direction of the victims,” Ahmadian said, adding that Taylor identified himself to cops in footage of that incident.

The burning liquid caused the floor of the subway station to catch fire but there were no injuries, said cops.

Taylor has served two stints in state prison, public records show.

He went into prison in 1998 for weapon possession and was released the following year to another agency. And he did just under two years on attempted forgery charges before being released in 2008.