Prosecutor: Area Man Gets 10 Years for 2017 Arson & 2018 Shooting Incident

A former Holmdel man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with a 2017 arson and the 2018 firing of a weapon into a township business, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Friday.

Leonard J. Mazzarisi, III, 32, formerly of Burgundy Drive in Holmdel, was sentenced on Friday by Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas to five years for conviction on a second-degree aggravated arson charge and an additional five years with 42 months without parole for conviction on a second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose charge. Both sentences are set to run consecutively, comprising the 10 years.

Mazzarisi was convicted on Friday, July 30, after a month-long jury trial before Judge Lucas.

The case background …

On Aug. 19, 2017, Holmdel police responded to a report of a possible arson at 51 Main Street in the township, the site of the Neuhaus Realty Agency. Evidence collected there suggested that a fire that damaged a portion of the rear of the building was purposefully set. A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Holmdel Township Police Department determined the fire was purposefully set by a male captured on video surveillance cameras from Aug. 17, 2017.

On Jan. 27, 2018 at about 10:18 p.m., Holmdel police responded to a second fire at the same Main Street location, finding heavy smoke and fire emanating from the rear of the structure. 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 August 2017 fire.

On May 29, 2018, Holmdel police were dispatched to 4 South Holmdel Road on the report of a BB gun being fired into the building. The spot was the newest location for Neuhaus Realty, which had been forced to relocate as a result to the Jan. 27 fire damage.

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 vehicle seen in the video at the January 2018 arson at the former Neuhaus Realty location.

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 these charges.

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

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management