BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man was arrested after allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Nassau County home early Tuesday morning, starting a fire that damaged the home and the family’s car, police said.
The fire broke out around 7:20 a.m. on Harrison Avenue in Baldwin.
Joseph Ferrufino, 21, the ex-boyfriend of a 20-year-old woman who lives in the house, is accused of throwing the Molotov cocktail into the home and using an accelerant to catch the family’s Mercedes on fire, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
“When police arrived, they found a 2015 Mercedes-Benz fully engulfed in flames and a second-story window broken,” Nassau County Police Lieutenant Richard LeBrun said.
The woman’s father was able to identify Ferrufino, which led to his arrest later on, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported. LeBrun said the woman’s father chased Ferrufino down the block after he tried to flee from the scene, but was unable to catch him.
Ferrufino is now charged with arson and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Video from the scene showed heavy damage to the garage and front of the house. One of the cars in the driveway appeared to have been completely burned while the other had scorched side panels.
LeBrun said two of the four people in the home were taken to the hospital. A 13-year-old girl was treated for a laceration to her foot, and the woman’s mother was treated for smoke inhalation.
“Whoever did this needs to pay, that’s all. Justice has to be served,” said the victim’s cousin Rusty Garcia.
LeBrun said Ferrufino initially tried to set the house on fire six days ago, but was unsuccessful.
“Apparently that didn’t work so, I guess somebody came back to finish the job,” said neighbor Eric Brengartner.
Police said they installed a security camera and panic alarm on the property after the first attempt.
“We were very, very sensitive to the fact that this was a high priority case. And what we did was we flooded the area with patrol cars,” said LeBrun said.
Ferrufino’s relationship with the victim ended two years ago. There’s no word yet on a motive.