BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bridgewater man was arrested and charged with aggravated arson, stemming from an incident in January 2016, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson.
Mason A. Pagnotta, 21, of Brown Road, was charged with two counts of second degree aggravated arson in his arrest May 10.
According to Robertson, on Jan. 18, 2016, at about 3:45 a.m., three vehicles parked in the driveway of a home on Garretson Road were involved in a fire. Surveillance video, he said, revealed that the suspect's vehicle with a distinctive rear spoiler was parked outside the residence right before a large fire erupted in the driveway, close to the occupied home.
Robertson said someone was seen running to the parked vehicle and fleeing the area.
A continued investigation, Robertson said, found that a man named Mason Pagnotta had given someone in the home an expensive gift that he wanted returned following the end of their friendship. The gift was not returned, Robertson said.
At the time of the fire, Robertson said, Pagnotta owned a 2004 Mitsubishi automobile with a large rear spoiler fitting the description of the suspect vehicle in the video footage.
Pagnotta is being held in Somerset County Jail while awaiting a detention hearing.
Anyone with additional information on the incident is being asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 908-722-4111. Information can also be sent by text message via the STOPit app, by entering the access code SOMERSETNJ.
Tipsters can also contact the Somerset County Crime Stoppers' Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org.
All anonymous tips will be kept confidential.