ARREST MADE IN USF DORM FIRES
TAMPA – A suspect was arrested today in connection with several fires that were set inside a University of South Florida dormitory last Friday.
Detectives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, said that Justin Graffeo, an 18-year-old university student, admitted to setting the fires in the Cypress B dormitory. The dormitory is located at 4202 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa. Damage is estimated at $1,500.
“As a parent, it is disheartening to see a young person commit these criminal acts and put the lives of other students at risk,” said Tom Gallagher, Florida’s state fire marshal. “However, he will have to pay the consequences for his actions.”
Graffeo admitted to setting a total of eight fires throughout the five floors of the occupied dormitory. He is charged with one count of first-degree arson, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison. He was arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
The arrest concluded a weeklong investigation by the University of South Florida Police Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).