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Police: former employee admits trying to ignite Public Square sandwich shop

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A St. Lawrence County man has confessed to trying to set a Public Square sandwich shop on fire after he was dismissed from his job there last week.

Watertown police charged Randy S. Kraft, 41, of 24 Herring St., Hammond, on Tuesday morning with second-degree attempted arson and third-degree burglary following an incident Thursday night at Vito’s Gourmet sandwich shop, 3 Public Square.

He is accused of entering the eatery at about 8 p.m. and trying to start a fire by pouring kerosene in the kitchen near a stove that had an open flame, according to court documents.

He also told police he erased a menu board in the restaurant, according to court documents. Anthony V. Tarzia owns the business.

Afterward, he drove to the owner’s cottage on Wellesley Island and told him what he had done, according to the deposition he gave police.

The kerosene did not ignite a fire. He told police he did not mean to hurt anyone and wanted to send a message to the owner.

He turned himself in Tuesday morning and was arraigned in City Court. He was released on his own recognizance. The case was sent for grand jury action.

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