A Pennsylvania man is behind bars after police say he chopped down a tree that was dripping sap onto his car, only to watch it fall onto his apartment building.
He was charged with assault after later beating a neighbor with a baseball bat, authorities said.
Raymond Mazzarella was charged with assault and reckless endangerment Monday, CBS affiliate WNEP-TV reported.
Luzerne County officials condemned the building after the massive Pine tree crashed into it, cracking the foundation. Tenants were ordered to leave, and one confronted Mazzarella, who punched him and beat him with a bat, according to authorities.
“He went right down my back and right down my leg,” neighbor Tony Latwiss told the station.
Mazzarella was apparently enraged that the sappy tree, which sat in his next-door neighbor’s yard, was leaking the sticky liquid onto his car, authorities said.
He took an axe to the 36-inch trunk, but when the giant tree tumbled, it crashed right into his apartment building, authorities said.
“He decided it was the best thing to do, to get rid of the tree. Where he thought it was going to go, I don’t know,” Pittston Township code enforcement officer Terry Best told the station.
All five residents of the apartment building must now find new homes. “It’s going to be a long time before somebody gets back in here,” he said.
Mazzarella is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. It was not clear whether he has entered a plea. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31.