Lucio Zaremba says he went to the Center Street Elementary School in Williston Park on Nov. 10, 2009, because it was a popular place to socialize.
After meeting up with roughly 30 friends from Herricks High School, he stayed for about an hour and then left with friend to go to a nearby party, he said Friday.
Early the next morning, Zaremba of New Hyde Park and his family were awoken by sharp knocks at their front door. Nassau County police officers arrested Zaremba and charged him with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief and fifth-degree arson.
On March 5, 2010, Zaremba pleaded guilty to trespassing, court records show. He was handed 50 hours of community service and was placed on a conditional discharge for one year.
"My parents knew I didn't do anything wrong because I was home asleep," Zaremba, 20, said Friday by telephone. "I told [the police] what I knew and they told me they had to bring me in. I was like, 'Wow.' "
Police arrested Zaremba, Christopher Guglielmi of Albertson and Sung Kim of New Hyde Park. Police said the trio broke into Center Elementary School and smashed potted plants, then took books and shredded and burned them.
Guglielmi and Kim also were charged with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief and fifth-degree arson, police said.
Zaremba is going to be a junior at Hofstra University this fall.