July 22, 2014

Key Largo man faces attempted murder, arson and animal cruelty charges

A man who set his apartment on fire in a suicide attempt was arrested today for two counts of attempted second degree murder, arson and two counts of animal cruelty.

On July 16th shortly after midnight, 48 year old John Merendino lit his apartment on fire in an alleged attempt to commit suicide. His two cats died in the fire. There were people at home in the two other apartments in the building who were forced to evacuate their homes because of the fire.


A woman in the neighboring apartment called for help when her smoke alarm went off. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found Merendino in his apartment, in a bathtub full of water. As paramedics tended to him, he told them he purposefully lit the apartment on fire in an attempt to kill himself.

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