After an extensive investigation into a series of small fires that took place in November 2017 in the Mackenzie North residence hall at Alfred State College, the State University Police Department announced the arrest of Mazen M. Elzibk, 20, of Smithtown.
On March 12, an arrest warrant was issued charging Elzibk with three counts: arson in the second degree (a class B felony), criminal mischief in the second degree (a class D felony), and reckless endangerment in the second degree (a class A misdemeanor). University Police arrested Elzibk upon his return to Alfred on May 7. Elzibk was processed at the police department and arraigned in front of Andover Village Justice Heckman, where his bail was set at $20,000 cash or $40,000 secure property bond. Elzibk was remanded to the Allegany County Jail and is due to appear in village court at a later date.
“I would like to thank all the individuals and agencies involved throughout this investigation,” stated University Police Chief Matt Heller. “Arson cases are complex investigations. University Police were extremely fortunate in this case to have had county and state fire investigators working alongside our officers in the initial stage of this investigation. The evidence gathered early on in the investigation was crucial and made it possible for us to identify a suspect and make the arrest at this time.”
Over a seven-day period in November, trash and/or clothing was set on fire inside the MacKenzie North residence hall on Nov. 8, Nov. 14, and Nov. 15. No one was injured during the incidents and the fires were quickly extinguished.
University Police were assisted in the investigation by the Alfred Police Department, the New York State Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, the Hornell Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allegany County District Attorney’s Office, Alfred A&E Crandall Fire Department, the Allegany County Fire Investigation Team, the NYS Office of Fire Prevention, and the Alfred State Fire and Life Safety Office.
Heller added, “I would like to acknowledge the work of Lt. Scott Bingham in this case. Lt. Bingham led this investigation from the beginning for this department and has done an outstanding job while patiently leading the efforts. This was an example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement and fire personnel work together.”