White Plains, NY — Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Rafael Roldan (DOB 06/01/76) of 67 West 175 Street, Bronx, New York has been indicted today on a six count indictment charging him with:
One count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A” Felony,
One count of Arson in the Second Degree, a class “B” Felony
Two counts of Assault in the First Degree, class “B” Felonies,
One count of Burglary in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony,
One count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class “D” Felony,
Relating to the death of Yonkers Firefighter Patrick Joyce and serious injuries to Lt. Joseph Murray and Firefighter William Kanych, Jr.
On October 2, 2009, at approximately 1:08 a.m., the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD) responded to 149 Waverly Street on the report of a multi-family structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters observed flame and smoke pushing out of the front of the home.
As the YFD put out the fire in the front room a second blaze erupted in the rear of the house on the same floor. This fire broke out quickly into a side stairwell and blew up to the top floor. Once on the top floor the fire burned through a door and entered a room where three YFD members were located. These firefighters, trapped by both the fire and the heat, had to jump from a third floor window.
Firefighter Patrick Joyce died as a result of the three story fall, while Lt. Joseph Murray and Firefighter William Kanych survived but sustained serious injuries.
Among the injuries to Lt. Murray were multiple fractures of his ribs, spine, and burns that required his continued hospitalization and surgery.
Firefighter Kanych’s injuries included a fractured foot, burns, and spinal injuries that required his continued hospitalization and surgery.
Fire investigators from the Yonkers Fire and Police Department’s have ruled this fire arson.
During the investigation, Yonkers police detectives developed information regarding the movements and motivations of the defendant, who was spotted in the building shortly before the fire was reported.
The police eventually located the defendant in The Bronx.
Arraignment on the indictment is pending.
The defendant is currently remanded at the County Jail.
Roldan faces a maximum of twenty five years to life in state prison on the top count of the indictment.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Ward, Chief of the Arson Unit, will prosecute the case.
In compliance with Disciplinary Rule 7-107A of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, you are advised that a charge is
merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed
innocent until and unless proven guilty.