Luzerne County man, 82, sets fire to neighbor’s window over $21 debt, police say

LUZERNE COUNTY — Angered during a dispute over $21, an 82-year-old Luzerne County man set fire to a neighbor’s apartment window and used his cane to knock over a flower pot and a television on her property, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs police force.

Vincent D’Allessandro, of Plains, is charged with arson, burglary, terroristic threats and criminal mischief in the incident, which occurred Saturday night at a transitional veteran housing unit at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, D’Allessandro believed his neighbor owed him $21, and spent hours on Saturday pounding and kicking her door demanding repayment. He allegedly slid a note under the victim’s door that read, “Slip what you owe me under my door or (my) next visit will not be so friendly,” the criminal complaint says.

D’Allessandro then used his cane to poke through a screen in the victim’s window, knocking over a flower pot and damaging her flat-screen television, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim provided police a description of D’Allessandro, and neighbors confirmed that he had been pounding on the victim’s door all day, police said in the criminal complaint.

On Sunday, the victim called police again and reported that her window had been set on fire. She said that before the fire, D’Allessandro told her “I am going to light your apartment on fire,” according to the criminal complaint.

A State Police fire marshal ruled that the fire had been set deliberately, according to the criminal complaint.

D’Allessandro was then taken into custody and was transferred to Luzerne County Correctional Facility after his arraignment. Bail was set at $25,000.