Troy man pleads not guilty in 2021 arson case


WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Troy man pleaded not guilty to causing an explosion that damaged an SUV in September of 2021. Robert Melendez, 41, is scheduled to appear in court again on February 15.

In October 2021, Melendez was arrested following an investigation. Officers investigated a complaint of an explosion near Fourth Street and Seventh Avenue on Sept. 24, 2021. Community residents reportedly described the sound as an explosion which was said to be heard by Watervliet police officers around one mile away.

Officers on the scene say they saw a car with extensive damage. Detectives started a coordinated investigation with help from the New York State Police (NYSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). On Oct. 8, 2021, investigators reportedly executed a search warrant related to the explosion and inadvertently found two unlawfully possessed handguns, a 30-round extended magazine, ammunition, and cocaine.

Melendez pleaded not guilty to first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree arson.

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