A former Monmouth County resident was convicted on Friday of setting fire to a real estate agency in Holmdel twice and then shooting it with a BB gun after the business moved, the officials said. authorities.
A jury has found Leonard J. Mazzarisi, III, 32, former Holmdel, guilty of second-degree aggravated arson and weapons-related offenses after a 5-week trial, according to a statement from the Monmouth County Attorney’s Office.
The incidents began on August 19, 2017, when Holmdel police responded to a report of a possible arson attack at 51 Main Street in town, the site of the Neuhaus Real Estate Agency, said the office. Evidence gathered there suggests that a fire that damaged part of the rear of the building was deliberately started, officials said.
An investigation by the bureau and police found the blaze was deliberately started by a man who had been captured by CCTV cameras two days earlier, officials said.
The second incident occurred on January 27, 2018 at 10:18 p.m., when police responded to a second fire at the same location and found thick smoke and fire emanating from the rear of the building, which suffered heavy damage, the authorities said. Investigators determined that this second fire was arson and closely resembled the previous fire.
Just over four months later, on May 29, 2018, police were called to Neuhaus Realty’s new home, 4 South Holmdel Road, with a report of a BB rifle in the building, said the office. Detectives again examined the surveillance footage and determined that Mazzarisi was the one who fired the gun into the building window and was driving a car that matched the vehicle seen in the video during the January arson attack. 2018 at the former location of Neuhaus Realty.
The next day, Mazzarisi was found at a hotel in Fredericksburg, Va., Where he was arrested on pending warrants arising from the investigation, officials said. He was held at Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford, Virginia until he was extradited to New Jersey on June 12, 2018 to face charges.
Mazzarisi was due to be sentenced on October 8 and faces up to 20 years in state prison, the office said. Officials have not commented on the motive for the incidents. The Neuhaus real estate agency declined to comment.
Thank you for relying on us to provide journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.
Chris Sheldon can be reached at email@example.com.