BY MARC MOSS
Local businessman and former Sullivan County cop Todd Pezzementi was arrested by Stony Point Police on Thursday, charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He allegedly cut his neighbor’s connection to a water well after the family had filed complaints with the town about commercial activity on his property.
Next-door neighbor Marge Fonseca claims Pezzementi cut her pipes connected to the water well her family shares with him as revenge for the complaints.
Fonseca showed the Rockland County Times a video in which Pezzementi taunted her, stating, “I will cut your [expletive] line again!”
Her family went several days without water. The Rockland County Times inspected Fonseca’s home on December 7 and found no running water.
Pezzementi said he did not cut the pipes and claimed he was referring on the video to the fact that the well would be closed within the next year. “I’m going to hit them where it hurts,” he said, as his neighbors would now have to drill for a new well. The well sits on his property.
Fonseca said Stony Point Police were initially reluctant to arrest Pezzementi based on her word, however things changed when the video came forward.
Fonseca said Pezzementi’s commercial activities were making it impossible for her to have peace in her house. As a result of the complaints, Pezzementi looks to have run out of time on an arrangement that allowed him to operate his business Northern Tree Services on the residential-zoned property in Stony Point for the past two decades.
The town has since cited him for numerous violations in the past two months. Meanwhile, Pezzementi told the Rockland County Times, “I will not go down without a fight.”
“The town should have told me this 20 years ago. Now some carpetbaggers from Congers move into town and I can’t run my business. My family has lived in this town for over 100 years,” Pezzementi exclaimed, noting that he had secured property in another town should he need to move the enterprise.
In another video Fonseca recorded of an interaction with Pezzementi, he boasted he would beat her zoning complaints in court because he had more money.
“I’m willing to draw this out,” he told the Rockland County Times. “I am not the bad guy here. Now suddenly they have a problem? I’ve helped them out before.”
Pezzementi had been in the news two years ago, when he and another man heroically pulled a woman from a burning vehicle on the Palisades Parkway. He won the 2012 Rockland County DeFlumere Award for heroism for his act.
Pezzementi also has been accused of hothead behavior in the past. In 2006, while still a police officer, he was charged with menacing for waving a gun at a driver who would not pull over when he wanted to pass. He was off-duty at the time.
Fonseca, who has lived on Lindbergh St. for close to a decade with her husband George, said Pezzementi vastly increased activity on the property in recent months and she could no longer tolerate the noise. Pezzementi denied his business had grown vastly in 2013 or that it was a nuisance. He said the noise occurred because he had resurfaced his backyard property in 2013; a large project, but not commercial in nature.
Pezzementi’s business is not headquartered in Stony Point. Its license is registered to an address in Washingtonville, Orange County.
Not all of Pezzementi’s neighbors are bothered by his activities. His other next door neighbor Donna Clark penned a letter in support of him. It can be read here: LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PEZZEMENTI.