The ex-wife of the driver accused of throwing a caustic chemical and a Molotov cocktail at two NYPD officers in Brooklyn Saturday morning tells The Post he suffers from bipolar disorder and has been off his medication for two years.
Lionel Virgile, 44, of Bridgeport, Conn. — whose terrifying attack on one of the cops was captured on his body camera — was transferred to federal custody Saturday night following his arrest in the terrifying 8 a.m. East Flatbush attack.
He was preliminarily charged with possession of a destructive device, but remained under investigation early Sunday, law enforcement sources told The Post.
Reached by phone early Sunday, Marie Theodate, Virgile’s ex-wife, said he desperately needs help.
“He’s not a violent person,” normally, Theodate said.
But, “When he’s off his meds, that’s it. He’s been off his meds for almost two years now.”
Virgile allegedly threw the contents of a cup holding a “caustic liquid substance” at an officer who had approached his 2000 Lincoln Town car at Clarendon Road and East 45th Street.
The officer suffered burns that required hospital treatment, cops said.
When responding cops next pulled Virgile over at Snyder Avenue near Kings Highway, the suspect stopped the car, got out, and threw a lit Molotov cocktail at the police car, an NYPD spokesman said.
The device — made from a vodka bottle — bounced harmlessly off the car and officers escaped injury, according to police.
Theodate apologized to the officers on behalf of her unhinged ex Sunday morning.
“I’m really sorry about that because that’s a really bad thing that he did,” she told The Post.
“You cannot attack an officer because they are the ones that protect us. I’m really, really sorry about that.”
Thoedate said she was with Virgile for 15 years, but times got tough in 2008 when he became ill.
She said when she lived with Virgile in Connecticut, and he got into any trouble, police there would bring him to a psychiatric facility so he could get help.
But in New York, where he has apparently been living in his car, he has not had treatment, she believes.
“A month ago they called the cops on him because somebody saw him sleeping in his car, and they take him in the emergency room in New York,” Thoedate said.
“We asked them to give him his meds or keep him there,” she said. But doctors “said ‘No, we cannot force him.’ They let him go the same day.”
Theodate said her ex-husband has not been able to work in five years. The two have a daughter who Virgile barely speaks to or remembers, and the family desperately wants him to get help, she said.
“Every time we try to call cops on him they come get him and they let him go,” she said of his time in the city.
“They take him to the ER and they let him go after,” she said.
“They refuse to keep him there. I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t have health insurance. I don’t know why they don’t keep him there.”