A Baldwin man who had tried to set fire to his ex-girlfriend's home last week returned Tuesday to set a Mercedes-Benz in the driveway on fire, then throw a firebomb through an upstairs bedroom window, Nassau County police said.
Joseph Ferrufino, 21, was caught and arrested by police about a half-mile away from the fires he set at the home on Harrison Avenue around 6 a.m., said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, commander of the public information office.
"The house was half-engulfed in flames," LeBrun said.
Ferrufino was charged with first- and third-degree arson. He is expected to be arraigned Wednesday and police said the charges could be upgraded.
Four people were in the home at the time: the homeowner; his wife; his daughter, the 20-year-old ex-girlfriend; and a 13-year-old daughter in a second-floor bedroom, where the fire started, LeBrun said. The 13-year-old suffered cuts to her foot, and her mother had smoke inhalation and first-degree leg burns.
Neighbors recalled hearing screaming early Tuesday and seeing the family outside the home without shoes.
LeBrun said Ferrufino tried to set the same house ablaze on Nov. 17 by throwing a firebomb at a front window. But the window didn't break and the firebomb didn't ignite, police said.
The homeowner chased Ferrufino but he couldn't catch him or positively identify him then, LeBrun said.
As a precaution, police installed an emergency electronic alert system in the home to enable the family to contact police, LeBrun said. Police also increased patrols.
Police responded to the electronic alarm Tuesday to find the white 2015 Mercedes ML350 and the home on fire.
Ferrufino "had poured a flammable liquid on the vehicle and also thrown a Molotov cocktail through the second-story window," LeBrun said.
The homeowner again chased Ferrufino and later identified him as his daughter's ex-boyfriend, LeBrun said.
Ferrufino and his ex-girlfriend had dated for two years but had limited contact since the relationship ended in 2013, LeBrun said. Asked about a possible motive, LeBrun said Ferrufino was "not happy with" the prior relationship.