BEACH HAVEN – Two men have been charged with Aggravated Arson after throwing fireworks explosives at a woman, giving her second-degree burns, officials said.
On July 22, a 53-year-old woman entered the Beach Haven Police Department reporting that she was struck by a firework explosive that was thrown from a car.
The woman told police that she was walking on Pennsylvania Avenue when a firework was thrown from the passenger side of a Jeep Wrangler. Then the firework exploded and hit her in the arm and rib area, causing her clothes to catch fire, officials said. EMS was called and treated the victim for second-degree burns to her arm.
Around 11:30 p.m., officers pulled over a Jeep Wrangler matching the description described by the victim. The Jeep wad operated by Justin Liebhauser, 19, of Randolph, with Gianni Aveta, 18, of Wayne, and three minors as passengers.
The investigation revealed that Liebhauser, Aveta and the two minors as passengers were in the area of Pennsylvania Avenue earlier in the evening. According to authorities, Liebhauser handed a five-inch shell mortar firework to Aveta, who then lit the firework and threw it out of the passenger side of the car, hitting the victim.
As a result, Liebhauser and Aveta were each charged with Aggravated Arson.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Beach Haven Police Chief James Markoski acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Beach Haven Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collective assistance in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.