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DV Pilot Police & Fire

NJ Man Found Guilty Of Shooting, Torching Monmouth County Real Estate Agency

51 Main Street fire
51 Main Street fire Photo Credit: Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (Facebook photo)

A former Monmouth County resident was found guilty Friday of setting a pair of fires, and shooting a BB gun at a Holmdel Township real estate agency, authorities said.

Leonard J. Mazzarisi, III, 32, was found guilty of second-degree aggravated arson, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon after a 5-week trial, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

The incidents started on Aug. 19, 2017, when Holmdel police responded to a report of a possible arson at 51 Main Street, the site of the Neuhaus Realty Agency, officials said.

Evidence collected there suggested that a fire that damaged a portion of the back of the building was intentionally set, authorities said.

An investigation determined the fire was purposefully set by a man captured on video surveillance cameras from August 17, 2017.

Five months later, on Jan. 27, 2018, Holmdel police responded to a second fire at the same Main Street location, finding heavy smoke and fire emanating from the rear of the building, which suffered extensive damage, officials said.

Investigators found that the second fire was also an act of arson, closely resembling the August 2017 fire.

In a third incident, on May 29, 2018, Holmdel police were dispatched to the agency's new location on South Holmdel Road, on a report of a BB gun being fired into the building, authorities said.

Investigators again reviewed surveillance video, which determined Mazzarisi was the man responsible for firing the BB gun into the building and that he was driving a car that matched the vehicle seen in the video at the January 2018 arson at the former Neuhaus Realty location, officials said.

The following day, 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 the charges.

Mazzarisi is scheduled to return for sentencing before Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas on October 8.

He faces up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison on the charges.

A motive for the crimes was not made public.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Puglisi.

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