Broward County

Hollywood woman tells police she lit hookah lounge on fire out of rage

In a “fit of rage” after feeling she was drugged and raped, Erin Hanna decided to let the city of Delray Beach know what had just happened to her.

She took red duct tape and wrote “predator” in the front of a local hookah lounge, where she alleges the crimes happened, then lit the tapestries in the lounge on fire, causing the business to be a “total loss.”

The 29-year-old Hollywood woman was arrested on a charge of arson and was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday.

A judge ordered she be held there in lieu of $10,000 bail, records show.

Delray Beach Police were called to Ali Baba’s Hookah Lounge on South Federal Highway around 3:30 a.m. New Year’s Day. The business was “fully engulfed” and the State Fire Marshal found the cause to be arson and that the fire started in the rear of the business near a row of couches, according to a Delray Beach Police probable cause affidavit.

“Predator” was spelled out over the front door in large letters made out of red duct tape and also on a white couch cushion laid on the grass in front of the business with a blood stain on it.

The lounge’s owner, 45-year-old Rand R. Yasin, told police that a small crowd of people gathered at the lounge on New Year’s Eve, most of them were gone by 2 a.m.

He told police he recently befriended Hanna and has let her sleep in the lounge for the past month or two because she had nowhere else to live and had a drug problem.

He felt sorry for her, he told police.

Yasin could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Newman Vyacheslav, who also goes by the name Steve, works at the lounge and told police people were drinking alcohol at the establishment that evening and Hanna “passed out” on the couch.

Vyacheslav said he left her sleeping around 2 or 2:30 a.m. There were no candles, cigarettes or anything left lit when he left, he said.

Police located Hanna Wednesday at the TD Bank at Southeast Fifth Avenue and brought her back to the police station.

Hanna said she first arrived at the lounge around 10 p.m. and was drinking Vodka with Vyacheslav and others. Vyacheslav gave her a marijuana joint that she smoked from.

Everyone left around 2 a.m. except for Vyacheslav.

“Hanna said that she felt as if she was drugged and did not have control of her body,” the affidavit says.

She claimed that Vyacheslav raped her against her will while lying on the couch. He then took pictures with his cell phone of her while she was naked.

Vyacheslav, who earlier told police he was never intimate with Hanna, left around 2:30 a.m. she said.

After that she was in a “fit of rage” and was so angry that she took the duct tape and wrote “predator,” the affidavit says.

She then took a marker and wrote the same word on the couch cushion.

She was so “scared” and “furious” that she wanted to leave some evidence of the rape in front of the business, she told police.

After pacing around the business she took a lighter and lit a rag on fire. She then walked to the back of the business and lit the tapestries near the couches on fire.

She then unlocked the front door and ran away from the business.