Disgruntled ex-tenant charged with murder in fatal arson blaze that killed his wheelchair-bound landlord
A vengeful Queens arsonist admitted making good on a death threat against his wheelchair-bound ex-landlord, torching her Queens residence just days after she evicted him from the house, authorities said Friday.
Defendant Persaud Rampersaud, 49, of Queens Village, was arraigned via video monitor on two counts of second-degree murder and a single count of second-degree arson. He was held without bail by Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita pending an Oct. 3 court date, and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Killed in the raging Tuesday night fire was 63-year-old Bebe Joamin, left confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke. The woman was found dead in her bed on the first floor of the two-story Queens Village home shortly after the fire was set around 11:10 p.m., and authorities said Rampersaud confessed to the killing once in custody.
Security video footage captured Rampersaud, a white bottle filled with a flammable liquid in his hand, walking alongside the driveway on 219th St.— and then exiting as flames become visible on a parked car outside the residence, authorities said. He was arrested Wednesday evening, hours after the fatal fire.
“The defendant, who allegedly admitted to starting the deadly blaze, set out to kill the homeowner after she forced him to vacate her home,” said Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan. “Instead of being grateful for a temporary place to stay, the defendant allegedly torched the property and killed the woman.”
According to prosecutors, Rampersaud was living in the home with the victim’s niece but apparently wore out his welcome. Joamin complained to police in June that her testy tenant had threatened to kill her, and then set an Aug. 28 deadline for his departure from her home.
Six days later, he was creeping toward her house and Joamin ? one of 17 siblings — was left dead inside her home, officials said.
The raging blaze spread quickly through the home as neighbors tried desperately to rescue Joamin from the smoke and flames.