A Long Island man threatened "suicide by cop" and ultimately set a house on fire when officers arrived to check on his welfare after his family reported that he had sent them text messages threatening to harm himself.
Pasquale Preziosa, of Atlantic Beach, 53, refused to come out of the house on Erie Avenue when officers arrived at the scene at approximately 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and threatened to harm those officers in an attempt to goad them into shooting him, according to Nassau County Police.
Authorities from the department's Emergency Service Unit, Bureau of Operations and Hostage Negotiation team formed a perimeter around the home. After hours of unsuccessful negotiations, officers spotted flames on the building's second floor, which slowly spread throughout the building.
A team of 60 firefighters from five departments worked to extinguish the blaze, and authorities located semi-conscious Preziosa in the building's basement. He was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Preziosa was charged with the felony of second-degree arson, and misdemeanors for:
- second-degree aggravated harassment
- second-degree menacing
- second-degree criminal mischief
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