An Atlantic Beach man, who threatened suicide during a barricaded standoff with police following a domestic dispute, set fire to his house before being removed from the burning home semiconscious early Thursday, authorities said.
The resident, identified by Nassau County police as Pasquale Preziosa, 53, was transported to a hospital for observation, assessment and treatment, police said. Police said Preziosa, who suffered from smoke inhalation from the fire, also was arrested and charged with second-degree arson, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree menacing and two counts of second-degree criminal mischief. He faces arraignment when medically cleared, police said.
Police said that Fourth Precinct officers were called to the scene on Erie Avenue at about 10:20 p.m. after family members reported Preziosa had sent "threatening text messages" stating "he intended to hurt himself."
When police arrived, Preziosa "refused" to leave the home — and "made several threats, including harming officers," in an effort to force a situation police believed intended to result in "suicide by cop."
Emergency Service Unit and Bureau of Special Operations officers, as well as members of the Hostage Negotiation team, responded, police said.
At about 1:20 a.m. flames were seen on the second floor of the home. That fire "slowly spread" to most of the second floor, police said — all as Preziosa "refused" to leave the home.
ESU officers, as well as firefighters, later entered the burning home and found Preziosa "semiconscious" in the basement, police said.
About 60 firefighters from Long Beach, Point Lookout, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Inwood and Island Park responded to the fire with more than a half-dozen pieces of equipment and were able to finally douse the fire, police said.
The actual cause of the fire remains under investigation by Arson / Bomb Squad detectives and the Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office.
No firefighters or officers were injured, police said.