Businessman, former cop gets arrested after dispute with neighbor
BY MARC MOSS
Local businessman and former Sullivan County cop Todd Pezzementi was arrested by Stony Point Police on Thursday, charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He allegedly cut his neighbor’s connection to a water well after the family had filed complaints with the town about commercial activity on his property.
Next-door neighbor Marge Fonseca claims Pezzementi cut her pipes connected to the water well her family shares with him as revenge for the complaints.
Fonseca showed the Rockland County Times a video in which Pezzementi taunted her, stating, “I will cut your [expletive] line again!”
Her family went several days without water. The Rockland County Times inspected Fonseca’s home on December 7 and found no running water.
Pezzementi said he did not cut the pipes and claimed he was referring on the video to the fact that the well would be closed within the next year. “I’m going to hit them where it hurts,” he said, as his neighbors would now have to drill for a new well. The well sits on his property.
Fonseca said Stony Point Police were initially reluctant to arrest Pezzementi based on her word, however things changed when the video came forward.
Fonseca said Pezzementi’s commercial activities were making it impossible for her to have peace in her house. As a result of the complaints, Pezzementi looks to have run out of time on an arrangement that allowed him to operate his business Northern Tree Services on the residential-zoned property in Stony Point for the past two decades.
The town has since cited him for numerous violations in the past two months. Meanwhile, Pezzementi told the Rockland County Times, “I will not go down without a fight.”
“The town should have told me this 20 years ago. Now some carpetbaggers from Congers move into town and I can’t run my business. My family has lived in this town for over 100 years,” Pezzementi exclaimed, noting that he had secured property in another town should he need to move the enterprise.
In another video Fonseca recorded of an interaction with Pezzementi, he boasted he would beat her zoning complaints in court because he had more money.
“I’m willing to draw this out,” he told the Rockland County Times. “I am not the bad guy here. Now suddenly they have a problem? I’ve helped them out before.”
Pezzementi had been in the news two years ago, when he and another man heroically pulled a woman from a burning vehicle on the Palisades Parkway. He won the 2012 Rockland County DeFlumere Award for heroism for his act.
Pezzementi also has been accused of hothead behavior in the past. In 2006, while still a police officer, he was charged with menacing for waving a gun at a driver who would not pull over when he wanted to pass. He was off-duty at the time.
Fonseca, who has lived on Lindbergh St. for close to a decade with her husband George, said Pezzementi vastly increased activity on the property in recent months and she could no longer tolerate the noise. Pezzementi denied his business had grown vastly in 2013 or that it was a nuisance. He said the noise occurred because he had resurfaced his backyard property in 2013; a large project, but not commercial in nature.
Pezzementi’s business is not headquartered in Stony Point. Its license is registered to an address in Washingtonville, Orange County.
Not all of Pezzementi’s neighbors are bothered by his activities. His other next door neighbor Donna Clark penned a letter in support of him. It can be read here: LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PEZZEMENTI.
Absolutely ridiculous that this was even taken this far! Todd started and has operated his business, Northern Tree Service, for many years and now someone who hasn’t even lived on Lindbergh Road for very long moves in and starts causing problems for him and his very successful business. Todd is known and admired by many locals as a generous and giving person and the neighbor had an opportunity to NOT live next door…a business that has been operating long before she even moved there! Did she not see this and the trucks before she moved there? I would like to think the Town of Stony Point as well as authorities would take this into consideration and drop any charges so to allow Todd Pezzementi to continue running his honorable business for the rest of the community.
Dear editor & readers of the Rockland County Times.
Let me start off with some transparency…I am the brother-in-law of Todd Pezzementi of which this article was written about. Upon reading the article (which was very well written I might add), I was a little perturbed about the happenings within Rockland County / Stony Point regarding Todd, his business and his neighbor Marge Fonseca.
A couple things seem to be jumping out at me that really make me feel that my opinion should be heard as well even though I don’t live in Stony Point. And I’d like to outline those below…
First, it’s amazing as a resident of the state of Georgia, how the state of New York (and its county and city municipalities) are treating a local business person. I’ve read that over 3.4 million residents (representing over $45 Billion in income for the state) have opted to leave NY over the last decade. With the way Todd Pezzementi is being treated, it’s no wonder. Todd’s business which has been located on Lindbergh Road for 20+ years has brought much help and positive things to your community.
Local and small businesses are the foundation of this country. You can’t listen to the news today without hearing about how hard it is for small businesses given all that is taking place in Washington DC. Yet here we have a man and his company who are being put through the ringer, and making it so difficult on him to run his business to support his family because ONE neighbor (of several) has an issue with the noise from his equipment engines. Other neighbors are even writing letters to you in support of Todd. It seems pretty clear from an outsider’s point of view that Mrs. Fonseca’s dispute with Todd is more personal than it is “objective”.
Besides the obvious service that Todd’s service provides residents and local businesses with their tree and landscape needs, Todd and his team also have volunteered their time to help other communities in times of need. An example of this was after Hurricane Sandy in which Todd and his team went to afflicted areas and helped (pro-bono) people with their emergency needs.
Also, for many years, Todd has also served as a source to keep Rockland County & Stony Point roads and parking lots clear of snow. As his brother –in-law I’ve personally spoken to him late at night and when asked “What are you up to” his response was “clearing parking lots of the snow…will be all night”.
Todd Pezzementi and his company, bring many things to the citizens of Rockland County & Stony Point. His company and team provide emergency help with tree removal during storms, road clearings (trees and snow), but more importantly his company is a family owned and run business that brings revenue and tax income to the county.
Now as it pertains to the dispute with Mrs. Fonseca….when I purchased my house (any of the houses that I’ve bought), I took a look around the neighborhood. I drove to the house in the morning, afternoon and night to see what the surrounding area looked like, sounded like, type of neighbors etc. severl times before I purchased the property and took ownership. It sounds to me like the Fonseca family did not pay any attention to their surroundings when purchasing their home.
I have children, and if I had moved to a home next to someone on the Sexual Predator List without looking first and then finding out that I moved next door to a child molester…it wouldn’t be the child molester’s fault that I moved there…it would be mine for not paying any attention to my new surroundings before I decided to move there. So Mrs. Fonseca really should have done her homework a little better.
Furthermore, Todd and his team do call Lindbergh Road their “office location” and “hub” but the fact of the matter, that 99.9% of the work that they do takes place away from Lindbergh Road. So in all essence, how much noise can possibly take place at that location? The starting of some engines? The driving away of about 50-100 yards? It’s not like they cut down trees at that location from dusk till dawn….their work is done offsite within the county and surrounding communities. So how much noise can possibly be made to make this woman’s life so unbearable that this has turned into the Hatfield-McCoy dispute of Rockland County!
Now I could go on and tell you how wonderful of a father Todd is and bring up the story of him helping in the rescue of that motorist…but your reporter did a great job of researching Todd and providing good (and not so good) historical information about him. Not to mention as his brother-in-law you would probably think all my opinions are skewed and biased.
However, it was very easy for the reporter to do a full recap of Todd and his positive and negative situations. But how come there was no mention of Mrs. Fonseca and anything she has done (again positive or negative)? Has she ever done anything worthy of earning a Medal of Honor from the county? Has she ever made any mistakes that were newsworthy? It’s easy to point fingers and paint a picture of Todd…..he is involved in his community and makes a difference. Todd is out and about working, creating jobs, bringing in revenue and tax income for your county, raising a family (three adorable girls by the way…sorry that’s my Uncle Pride) and being an involved citizen. Mrs. Fonseca seems to be an irritated old woman with nothing better to do with her time than cause a stink.
I hope that the community and readers of this article take a stand. Take a stand for small business, take a stand for your citizens and for people who make a difference in your community. Stand up for your heroes who live and serve within your community instead of stomping them down and making them pay for the unhappiness of those who are bitter. Stop allowing individuals to make it difficult to ruin what makes America strong.
To be quite honest,i could care less about the noise and all that nonsense.The only thing that bothers me is seeing my stepmother upset because there are monster trucks pouring blacktop near our well and she worries .Also the remarks that Todd has made to her is disgraceful.We did not have water for days showering at our neighbors house and not being able to flush the toilet bowl was fun.If anyone wants to say “whats the big deal” than come and live next door and say that.It is against the law to run a business in a residential area and we did not mind in the beginning.It expanded tremendously this year and nobody even had the decency to come and warn us about what will be going on outside of our house all day.Whatever happens happens.We didnt have a choice but to go to the authorities because of all the madness
Bottom line. No Business is to be conducted in a residential zone. what part of this clearly understood rule do you not understand Mr. Pezzementi? And why are you the Fonsecas a hard time. I have known the family for nearly three decades, and they have always been a law abiding hard working people of the working class. Why not just accept the reality and abide by the law, instead of going against it, and then complain that someone else is at fault, while at the same time go out of your way to make life miserable for them. What sick need do you have to do this Mr. Pezzementi. It’s as simple as this: you live on residential zoning area, and cannot do business out of it. You also call your neighbors a bunch of carpet-baggers, but seems like it is your outlaw behavior which resembles that of a true carpet-bagger. For, yes indeed, Carpet-baggers do ignore the law, just as you on the one side have ignored it, while have broken it on another.
Obviously none of the pezzementi’s follow the law.Someone from Georgia that does not have to see filth all day next door to them while trying to live a peaceful life is so quick to run his mouth.Blacktop and garbage does not belong near anyones well.Monster trucks going in and out all day long is not ok.we have lived here for over thirteen years so we are not new to the area.many HATE the business but too scared to face todd bc of the person he is.now that says a lot doesnt it?And we helped todd out with tools and whatever else they needed when they asked.We did not have any problems with this until he expanded this year
Its a shame because i do not dislike them as people.I always loved the girls and they loved me.I had fun playing with them.I never thought Todd would act the way he did to my family after finding out that they were not comfortable with what is going on.We are not even the first ones to complain.I dont understand why people from different states are backing this illegal activity .I understand he is family but i have a family as well and its not fair.Cutting the water pipe was very childish and a huge inconvenience.He screams about how much money he has so why cant he go somewhere that is legal .Tons of his customers have gone to the police complaining about the way he treats them.hes not a teddy bear and treats his dogs like crap.Always screaming and fighting with someone.We live right next door and now have a clear view of a construction site due to the fact that he chopped all of the beautiful bushes down out of spite.Acting like a CHILD
NO BUSINESS is to be conducted in a residential zone…..PERIOD….I could care less if he was allowed to have his business there 10, 20, 30, or 100 years ago, as of now its gotten to the point that its a nusense and needs to be dealt with. My neighbor that lives next door runs a very small catering business out of his basement, and has been doing so since I bought my house. It doesn’t bother me at all and does not affect me at all. However, if over the past few years his business has expanded and expanded and more and more activity and trucks started to appear, it would become a serious problem. Even though I was ok with it originally, now it is a problem and that is exactly what has happened here. Mr. Pezzementi has taken advantage of the situation he had at his property and now it has come back to bite him. Regardless, the point remains that it is a residential property, and can not have a business there at all. All that aside, I have seen several times the dark, crazy side of Mr. Pezzementi come out. It is a rude, obnoxious, nasty and down right disgusting side of him which he would scream at the top of his lungs the most horrendous things you’d ever hear. Its disgusting. Also, it is interesting that his brother-in-law mentioned his example of doing homework before moving and that he would make sure he didn’t move next to a sexual predator, because that brings up another fact of what Mr. Pezzementi did by exposing himself in one of his rants. Another vial and disgusting move by him. Yea real good father, I can totally see how he is such a great example for his kids and such a important part of this community. How bout that great work he did up in Cornwall by waving his gun around at someone. Is that what u call a medal of honor winner for the county??? I don’t think so. Bottom line is that now this whole situation has gotten out of control and the issue simply remains that its a business in a residential zone, and that is unacceptable. IT NEEDS TO GO!!!
I’ve known Margaret Fonseca since grade school, and I can tell you that she’s a stand-up citizen. When she moved to Stony Point ten years ago, she knew who was next door to her, but he didn’t seem like a problem at the time, and the rest of the area seemed cool, so they bought the house. It wasn’t till AFTER living next door to Todd Pezzementi for a few years that these issues began. I remember about five or six years ago, I came back to New York for a visit, and when I went to her house to see her, I asked what all the commotion was next door. That guy had all sorts of trucks and heavy equipment in the driveway/yard. I asked when the neighborhood became industrial, and she told me it hadn’t. There were all sorts of guys out there, making all sorts of noise; it was like hanging out on some job site!
Funny how I just read in the comments that other neighbors haven’t complained… well, when I went there, it seemed that Margaret was the only one right there. The neighbors across the street have their houses set way back off the road, so street noise and noise from Pezzementi WOULDN’T bother them. Doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s a RESIDENTIAL area, but this guy is an ex-cop so he’s already got the chip on his shoulder making him think that he’s above the law. Seems to me that if he’s been running this business from this location for 20+ years, that’s 20+ years of fines he should be accountable for. He’s bragging about how much money he has… good, I’m sure the County could use some of it.
Margaret has complained to me on MANY occasions about this guy; let’s just say he’s not quiet about his personal life either, yet for TEN YEARS she let it go. The only reason it’s escalated now is because he thinks because he’s got money and connections that he can get away with it. HE CUT THE WATER OFF FROM HER HOUSE! Are you kidding me??? How would ANY of you feel if you were without water for an entire day, only to have it cut AGAIN, and AGAIN!! This guy may help out in snow storms and hurricanes, but how much of a stand-up guy can he be when he moons his neighbor and screams like a lunatic that he’ll cut the line AGAIN! C’mon man, are you kidding me? What kind of MAN does this? His brother-in-law is posting about what a stand-up, respectable guy he is. REALLY?? How much is he paying you dude? If someone cut YOUR water supply, your freaking WATER SUPPLY, how cool would you be with that? Margaret and George mind their own business… they go to work, they come home, and all they want after a hard days work is to relax in their country home. They moved there to get out of Queens, and all the crowds and noises of the city. They pay their taxes just like everyone else, except unlike everyone else, they’ve got to deal with THIS guy.
And for his family that are posting about small businesses and how respectable his small business is… yeah, I’m all for it, but he’s not as ‘stand-up’ as you might think he is, he’s conducting business in a residential area. It doesn’t belong there. If he wants to prove how ‘stand-up’ he is, tell him to move to a properly zoned area!
Tax income?he has illegal aliens working for him so please know what you are saying before you write.My stepmom keeps a low profile and does not come up on google as a menace to society.She works hard so she can come home to relax on her front porch without the sight of mac trucks,illegal workers on a construction site.wtf is so hard to undetstand?Take the business elsewhere or minimize the noise levels and trucks!!!
why is it that you cannot see all the comments only a few. As a member of the community I would like to see them all.
Incorrect, all comments are posted that we’ve received — following this response we are going to consider stopping further comments due to the fact it’s descended into character libel and bickering.
The character assassinations were originated by Mr. Pez.
Olegkhaghani…butt out already!! When it comes down to it you only know the Fonseca’s side of the story & you don’t live there to know the truth.
i thought no more posts were allowed
The really nasty back and forth has been stopped, the only new posts are two one-liners.