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October 31, 2015
Posted by: Lisa Mitchell
An alleged Williamsburg arsonist went on the lam for a year after threatening a deadbeat tenant for past-due rent — then setting fire outside the man’s apartment when he didn’t pay.
Yehuda Herskovic, 57, allegedly sent Moses Greenfeld, who lives at 356 Marcy Ave., a series of typo-filled texts last November in an effort to strong arm him into paying rent he owed.
“By 4 [o’clock] you will not be able to liv [sic],” Herskovic wrote, according to a criminal complaint.
Then, he added: “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.”
Herskovic is charged with second-degree arson, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, for setting fire to cardboard outside Greenfeld’s second-floor apartment.
The small blaze scorched the doorway and singed a doormat but no one was injured, according to court papers.
Greenfeld, who was home at the time, saw Herskovic allegedly start the inferno.
Sources said Herskovic was “collecting rent,” but that the property is owned by Naftali Steinmetz, who also lives in the building.
The fire bug fled and was sought for nearly a year before surrendering to FDNY fire marshals Monday.
He was arraigned on the arson and more than a dozen others charges and released on $3,000 cash bail.
Prosecutors had requested him to be held on $25,000 bail.
Herskovic’s lawyer Israel Fried declined to comment.
Greenfeld and Steinmetz couldn’t be reached at their homes.
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