September 8, 2021
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Acting Chief Larry Cattano of the Perth Amboy Police Department announced today a man has been charged with setting fire to a mixed-use building, which housed several residences and a local bar.
On September 6, 2021, Rey Zarzuela-Severino, 36, of Ocean Grove was charged and arrested for second-degree aggravated arson, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree possession of a destructive device, and fourth-degree causing risk of widespread injury or damage.
On September 6, 2021, at approximately 2:59 A.M., officers of the Perth Amboy Police Department along with local firefighters were dispatched to the Casanova Lounge, located at 983 State Street, following the report of a structure fire. As a result, multiple residents who were later transported from the scene to a nearby hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
An investigation conducted by Officer Jorge Irizarry II of the Perth Amboy Police Department and Detective Jose Rosario of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office as well as local and county fire officials determined Zarzuela-Severino broke a bar window and set a fire within the structure. The investigation also determined smoke from the fire entered into multiple, occupied residences located above the bar.
Zarzuela-Severino is presently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center where he is detained pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Irizarry of the Perth Amboy Police Department at (732) 324-3800 or Detective Rosario of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4045.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Zarzuela-Severino are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.