Two men face charges after a car parked on Church St., Hallstead, set on fire at about 12:30 a.m., on Nov. 7. Police were requested by the fire chief to respond to the scene.
Matthew Tanzini, 20, of Kirkwood, N.Y., and Jamel Nichols, 20, of Great Bend, have been charged in connection to the incident and are being held on bail in the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility.
According to the affidavit filed by police, a witness told police she had heard people talking outside the Church Street residence where she was staying and observed both Tanzini and Nichols – both she knew personally outside the home.
According to the affidavit, the woman saw Tanzini walk approach the victim’s vehicle and pour gasoline on the trunk. Tanzini then lit the gasoline which ignited the car on fire, the witness reported. Both Tanzini and Nichols then ran from the seen towards Route 11, she told police.
The witness also told police that three of the four tires on the vehicle had been slashed.
According to the affidavit, Nichols was blaming the woman for taking money from the residence where he had been staying. She also said he had been sending threatening messages to her on Facebook Messenger stating that he would harm her family if she didn’t pay him back the money.
Police examined the vehicle and observed fire damage to the top of the trunk. According to the affidavit, the damage continued along the back side and melted the rear bumper. There was no damage observed to the engine compartment, interior or within the car. The report also noted an odor of gasoline was detected by police.
Both Tanzini and Nichols were taken into custody, with the affidavit noting that Tanzini “lawyered up” during questioning.
Nichols, police said, admitted to being at the Church Street location and observed Tanzini pour a liquid on the vehicle and then light it on fire.
Tanzini has been charged with a felony count of arson; conspiracy to commit arson; reckless burning or exploding; criminal mischief; and terroristic threats.
Nichols faces counts of conspiracy – reckless burning or exploding; reckless burning or exploding; and criminal mischief.
Preliminary hearings for both Tanzini and Nichols are scheduled to be held Monday, Nov. 18 in New Milford District Court.