Prosecutor: Arrest Made in 2017 ‘Real Housewives’ Actress’s Home Invasion

Authorities have arrested one of two suspects sought in the 2017 Holmdel home invasion robbery of David Cantin and his fiancée Claudine “Dina” Manzo, The Real Housewives of New Jersey actress, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Friday.

James Mainello, 51, of Bayonne, has been charged with: first-degree robbery; second-degree robbery; second-degree burglary; second-degree aggravated assault; two counts of third-degree aggravated assault; third-degree theft: third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose; fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon; and third-degree criminal restraint. 

James Mainello

Mainello, who was arrested at his home without incident on Friday morning is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, pending his initial appearance at the Monmouth County Superior Court in the coming week. A detention hearing is also expected to be scheduled following his first appearance to determine whether Mainello will be released or detained pending trial.

The case background …

Holmdel police responded to a 911 call from someone at a townhouse on Banyan Boulevard at 10:54 p.m. on May 13, 2017 reporting a home invasion robbery. Police arrived on the scene to find two victims, David Cantin, then 37 years of age, and Housewives actress Dina Manzo, then 46.

The victims reported that as they entered the front door of to their residence, they were confronted by two men waiting for them inside of the home. The two men reportedly immediately rushed toward the couple. One of the two men allegedly struck Cantin several times with a baseball bat while Manzo was punched multiple times by the other assailant. The two victims were then allegedly bound together within the home. While Cantin and Manzo were bound together, their attackers stole cash and jewelry before fleeing the residence, according to police reports.  

Cantin was able to free himself and called police, who arrived shortly thereafter, reports indicated. Both victims were subsequently taken to a local hospital for treatment. Cantin suffered significant facial injuries, including a broken nose. Manzo was also treated for facial injuries. Both were treated and released that night.

Holmdel Police contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and a joint investigation was launched, culminating in these charges being filed.  

The arrest was made Friday morning with assistance from the Holmdel and Bayonne police departments and the U.S. Marshals Service.

If convicted of a first-degree crime, Mainello faces up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison on each count, 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 a second-degree offense, Mainello faces a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. A third-degree convict carries a custodial sentence of three to five years in prison, while a conviction of a fourth-degree offense carries a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison. 

Anyone with additional information about his activities or about this case is asked to contact Detective Wayne Raynor of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443, or Detective Eric Hernando of the Holmdel Police Department at 732-946-4400.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office