JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville man is charged with arson after police say he admitted setting his car on fire in late December after being arrested in a separate case.
Joseph P Labazzo Jr. faces one level 4 felony for arson; he appeared for an initial hearing Thursday morning in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.
Court records show that police were dispatched to the Greenwood Apartments in Jeffersonville just after 4 a.m. Dec. 29 on a report of a vehicle fire. On arrival, officers found a four-door sedan completely engulfed, and observed that the siding of the building near the car had begun to melt.
Police determined that the car belonged to Labazzo, and when officers went to his apartment, saw that he had removed all of his belongings from the home and placed them on the sidewalk. When asked if he was being evicted, police say the defendant said he was cleaning. He said he had walked back into the apartment and when he came outside, had seen the car on fire.
According to court records, “Mr. Labazzo did not appear to be upset but just matter of fact as he watched firefighters put out the blaze,” it reads.
Labazzo was not charged or arrested that day for the fire, but on Jan. 2, he was picked up after reports of a suspicious person at CVS on Spring Street in jeffersonville. The caller said he had attempted to walk behind the counter to steal prescription drugs.
The defendant was arrested that day and ultimately charged with a class A misdemeanor for theft and a class A misdemeanor for criminal trespassing. While being transported to jail, officers asked him what had happened to the car several days prior; police say he then responded that he had set it on fire because he was scared, and had been using narcotic drugs that week.
He has an initial hearing in the theft case set for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20 in Clark County Circuit Court No. 3.