A Revere man was held on high bail on Monday as investigators probed a possible domestic violence motive in a fire he allegedly started at his home on Page Street, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Dale Peretti, 40, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court on charges of arson of a dwelling and attempted murder. Assistant District Attorney Ursula Knight recommended that he be held on $50,000 cash bail. Judge Stephen Abany set bail at $25,000.
Revere police, Revere firefighters, and State troopers assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office responded Sunday afternoon to a fire at the home Perretti shares with his wife. By 7:00 p.m., the fire was extinguished and investigators were able to move about inside the building.
In the opinion of investigators, the burn pattern within the building reflected the intentional pouring of an accelerant on the floor. In interviews with investigators, however, Perretti allegedly stated that he had accidentally spilled gasoline when he dropped a gas can, and that the fire started when a lit cigarette fell from his mouth and ignited it.
Perretti allegedly told investigators that he had purchased the gasoline that same day at a nearby gas station with the intention of mowing his lawn. Investigators reviewed the surveillance footage from that gas station and found that he had not done so. Moreover, the lawnmower was chained up and covered in cobwebs inside his garage.
Perretti’s wife told investigators that she emerged from the bathroom to find the first floor of the building in flames. Investigators believe the fire was deliberately set in the dining room just outside the bathroom, and that Perretti was aware she was in the bathroom when he set it.
By Sunday evening, investigators believed they had sufficient evidence to charge Perretti not just with setting the fire but also with attempting to murder his wife.
“Arson, yeah,” Perretti allegedly exclaimed as he was being taken into custody, “but attempted murder?”
Conley urged victims of any crime, including domestic violence, to call 911 in an emergency. SafeLink, a statewide DV hotline, can be reached at 877-785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521-2601. Perretti was represented today by attorney Francisco Napolitano. He will return to court on Oct. 23.