TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
Long Island

Man tried to set pickup truck on fire, left combustible on driveway, police said

An attempted arson suspect who tried to set a pickup truck on fire and left a combustible item on a driveway in Riverhead Town last month, was arrested in Holbrook on Wednesday after fleeing from police at the LIRR station in Ronkonkoma, authorities said.

John Cayamanda, 43, of St. James, was under investigation in several recent attempted arson cases in Riverhead, Suffolk police said in a statement.

Police said detectives with the Arson Section and Major Case Unit learned Cayamanda would be at the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road Station on Wednesday. But when officers attempted to arrest him, he fled on foot from the station and was pursued by officers with the Fourth and Fifth precincts and Canine Unit officers.

Cayamanda was arrested a short time later, about noon, on Avis Drive in Holbrook, police said.

He is suspected in three attempted arsons in Riverhead, police said. On March 1, he tried to set a Chevrolet pickup on fire on Sweezy Avenue; he left a combustible item on a driveway on Sweezy Avenue on March 21; and this past Monday, he threw a combustible item at an unmarked Suffolk County police car on Sweezy Avenue, police said.

Police did not specify what combustible items Cayamanda used in the two arson attempts in Riverhead, nor what his motivation was or why all the Riverhead incidents occurred on Sweezy Avenue.

He is also being investigated for recent incidents in Setauket and Centereach, police said.

Cayamanda faces charges of first-degree attempted assault, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and first-degree attempted arson.

He will be held overnight at the Fourth Precinct and is slated to be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Islip, officials said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555, police said.

Latest Long Island News