FREEHOLD –After a five-week trial, a Monmouth County jury convicted a Holmdel Township man of arson and firing a weapon into a township business.
Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced that Leonard J. Mazzarisi, III, 32, formerly of Burgundy Drive in Holmdel, was found guilty on Friday July 30 of second-degree aggravated arson, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.
Holmdel Police responded on August 19, 2017, to a report of a possible arson at 51 Main Street in the township, the site of the Neuhaus Realty Agency. Police determined the fire was set by a man captured on surveillance footage.
On January 27, 2018, there was another fire at the same location. Firefighters from the Holmdel Fire Department responded to the scene but the structure sustained extensive damage.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Holmdel Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office determined this second fire to also be an act of arson, closely resembling the earlier fire.
On May 29, 2018, Holmdel police responded to 4 South Holmdel Road on the report of a BB gun being fired into the building. The location is the newest location for Neuhaus Realty, which had been forced to relocate as a result of 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 one seen in the video at the January 2018 arson at the former Neuhaus Realty location.
A day later, on May 30, 2018, Mazzarisi was found at a hotel in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was arrested on outstanding warrants stemming from the investigation. Mazzarisi 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.
Linskey commended the efforts of the Holmdel Police Department as well as law enforcement agencies from Vermont, New York and Virginia for their work leading up to this conviction.