Former Holmdel resident deliberately set a pair of realty office fires, prosecutors say
A former Holmdel Township man is being charged with arson for intentionally starting two home fires in the past year and firing a weapon into a local business, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office.
Leonard J. Mazzarisi, III, previously of Burgundy Drive, is charged with two counts of second degree Aggravated Arson, second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, third degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and third degree Criminal Mischief.
The first fire he allegedly set was on Aug. 19, 2017 at 51 Main Street, which is the site of the Neuhaus Realty Agency, and investigators found evenidence suggesting the inferno began in the back of the building and it was set on purpose.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Holmdel Township Police Department spotted the culprit on video surveillance cameras.
On Jan. 27, 2018 at about 10:18 p.m., Holmdel police responded to a second fire at the same Main Street location, finding heavy smoke and fire emanating from the rear of the structure.
The structure sustained extensive damage and the ensuing investigation determined this second fire to also be an act of arson, closely resembling the August 2017 fire.
On May 29, 2018, Holmdel police were dispatched to 4 South Holmdel Road on the report of a BB gun being fired into the building, the new location of the same realty office who re-located after the January fire.
Detectives from Holmdel Township Police Department reviewed additional surveillance video to determine Mazzarisi was responsible for firing the BB gun into the window of the building, and that he was driving a vehicle that matched the vehicle seen in the video at the January 2018 arson at the former Neuhaus Realty location.
On May 30, 2018, Mazzarisi was located at a hotel in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was arrested on outstanding warrants stemming from the investigation.
He was held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford, Virginia until he was extradited back to New Jersey on June 12, 2018 to face these charges.
He's scheduled to next appear in Superior Court on Tuesday, June 19 for a detention hearing in this case.
On each count of Aggravated Arson, Mazzarisi faces a sentence of up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole.
He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of Possession of Weapon for an Unlawful purpose, he faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison with a period of up to 5 years that must be served prior to becoming eligible for parole.
If convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Mazzarisi faces three to five years in state prison with a period of up to 42 months that must be served prior to becoming eligible for parole.
If convicted of Criminal Mischief, he faces up to 18 months in state prison.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Detective Brian Weisbrot of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443, or Detective Sgt. Theodore Sigismondi of the Holmdel Township Police Department at 732-946-4400.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
More From The Jersey Shore: