A South Ozone Park man has been charged for allegedly setting nine separate fires to vehicles in his neighborhood between December 2017 and February 2018.
Evan Person, 29, was charged with third-degree arson and third-degree criminal mischief. He is currently being held on $250,000 bond/$150,000 cash bail and ordered to return to court on March 28. If convicted, Person faces up to 15 years in prison.
“In both December of last year and February of this year, the defendant is alleged to have set various vehicles on fire,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. “These bizarre sprees damaged property as well as endangered the lives of people in the neighborhood and responding firefighters. These were senseless, frivolous acts — and if proven true — the defendant will face serious prison time.”
According to the criminal complaint, starting at 7 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2017, and continuing into the afternoon, firefighters responded to five different addresses on and near 116th Avenue where vehicles had been set on fire.
During this time, Person allegedly intentionally set a 2006 Nissan, a 1998 Mercedes Benz, a 2000 Ford Excursion, a 2009 Nissan and a 2014 Mercedes Benz ablaze, causing damage to each vehicle.
Person is alleged to have also set fire to four additional vehicles located in and around 124th Street on Feb. 6, 2018. Firefighters responded to calls starting shortly after midnight and extinguished flames coming from a 1998 Honda Civic, a 2003 Mitsubishi, a 2008 Kia and a Buick.
“These alleged reckless acts of arson not only damaged the property of numerous Queens residents, but needlessly diverted firefighting resources that otherwise should have been available if needed for true life-threatening emergencies,” Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said. “Our fire marshals will track down and apprehend anyone who uses fire to damage property or endanger lives in our city.”