Michael Visconti of Pembroke Pines, Florida was arrested Monday for allegedly setting fire to his employer’s business after a dispute over money, news sources report. Visconti, 37, was booked into the North Broward Bureau Detention Facility on charges of criminal mischief over $1,000 and arson. A judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $51,250 bail. Reports did not specify attorney for Visconti.
According to reports, Visconti works for Richard Mallion, who owns and operates Pro Health Management Inc. on Southwest 45th Street in Pembroke Pines. It is unclear how long Visconti had been working for Pro Health Management Inc.
Sources say Visconti believed Mallion owed him money. At 8:35 p.m. Monday, Visconti allegedly called Mallion and threated to harm Mallion and his business if he did not get the funds. Mallion reported the alleged threat to police.
Suspecting an attack on the office, Mallion, his wife, and detectives went to Pro Health that night and to search the building. An officer inside the building smelled smoke and found a fire kindling in the business’s front office, sources say. The officer then reportedly noticed Visconti sprinting towards the business’s front door.
Sources say the officer identified himself and told Visconti to stop. The officer repeatedly told Visconti to step outside and Visconti allegedly refused. After Visconti refused to move several times, the officer put Visconti in a headlock and dragged him out of the building, sources say.
Once the coast was clear, Mallion and his wife reportedly went inside the office and extinguished the fire. Following his arrest, Visconti not only admitted to setting the fire, he admitted to demolishing around $5,000 worth of office equipment and said that “trashed the office,” according to reports. It is unclear how much damage the fire did.
In other news, James Lee Minyard of Tampa was arrested for allegedly detonating an explosive device at an area gas station, reports say. Minyard was the only one injured in the resulting explosion; he reportedly lost several fingers. Minyard, 41, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on six counts of manufacturing and possessing homemade explosive devices. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired legal representation.
According to reports, the incident occurred at a BP gas station in the 6900 block of Nebraska Avenue in Tampa. A clerk at the station reportedly witnessed Minyard detonating what looked like fireworks in the parking lot. The clerk noticed that Minyard appeared to have injured himself and dialed 911.
Officers arrived and inspected Minyard; his fingers were charred black and he was missing the tops two fingers on his left hand. Minyard was taken to the Tampa General Hospital for treatment. In the meantime, detectives canvassed the area around the gas station and found two homemade explosive devices, reports say.
Sources say detectives acquired a search warrant for Minyard’s home, where they found four more homemade explosive devices and a blast site in the backyard. According Minyard told police that he made to explosive “simply to prove that he could.” It does not appear as though police found evidence that Minyard was planning any sort of attack.