A Williamsburg landlord has been accused of starting a fire outside a tenant's apartment as an intimidation tactic to scare up some late rent.
The NY Post reports that landlord Yehuda Herskovic has been charged with second-degree arson and more than a dozen other crimes for placing a piece of cardboard in front of tenant Moses Greenfeld's apartment at 356 Marcy Avenue last November, and then allegedly setting it on fire.
According to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by the Post, Herskovic sent Greenfeld a series of threatening, typo-ridden texts before the fire started, implicating himself in the crime: “By 4 [o’clock] you will not be able to liv [sic],” Herskovic allegedly wrote. "In apartment, don’t many [sic] any mistake. Iam [sic] sirios [sic] two minutes is up … I am almost their [sic], I am here, I have put on fire."
The fire scorched the doorway of the apartment and singed a doormat, but didn't make it inside the apartment. Greenfeld, who was home at the time, claims he saw Herskovic start it himself. The alleged arsonist was working as a representative for Naftali Steinmetz, the owner of the building at 356 Marcy Avenue (a source says he was "collecting rents"). Herskovic went on the lam for the last year before turning himself in to FDNY fire marshals Monday.