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New London firefighter Al Mayo arrested in Norwich for allegedly cutting down neighbor's trees

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published July 15. 2014 6:48PM   Updated July 16. 2014 12:23AM
Tim Martin/The Day
Al Mayo of Norwich, a New London firefighter, has been arrested by Norwich police on charges stemming from a complaint by his neighbor that he cut down a row of trees on her property. Mayo is shown outside the City of New London Fire Headquarters in May 2012.

Norwich — Police on Tuesday arrested New London firefighter Alfred P. Mayo on charges stemming from a complaint by his neighbor that he cut down a row of trees on her property.

Mayo, 36, who recently served a 45-day suspension because of his arrest stemming from a fight outside a bar in Montville, was charged by warrant with first-degree criminal mischief. It is a Class D felony levied against someone accused of causing property damage in excess of $1,500.

Norwich police said the arrest stems from a June 27 complaint by Mayo’s neighbor at 21 Russell Road, who told police Mayo cut down a row of trees that border Mayo’s home at 17 Russell Road. The unidentified woman told police she had not been living at the property for three months but was checking in periodically.

She estimates the replacement cost of the trees to be between $20,000 and $30,000.

City records show the home at 21 Russell Road is owned by Dorothy Pupa. Pupa is in the midst of foreclosure proceedings, according to records from New London Superior Court.

A pile of woody brush and small diameter trees lay in the yard at 21 Russell Road Tuesday. The yard is separated from Mayo’s property by a chain link fence. Several larger maple trees stand at the fence line. There was obvious work in progress outside Mayo’s home, with a newly installed concrete retaining wall and fence near the sidewalk.

Mayo, who declined comment following his arrest, is free after posting a $1,000 cash or surety bond and is scheduled to appear July 24 in Norwich Superior Court.

Mayo had a rocky start at the New London Fire Department and was fired by the city before graduating from the fire academy in 2011. The city cited reviews of his performance at the academy. He was later rehired when evidence came to light that he may have been treated unfairly. Mayo claimed he was mistreated because of his race.

He was suspended without pay following his June 2013 arrest on assault charges stemming from a fight outside the Montville Polish Club. Mayo was playing poker when a man made derogatory comments about Mayo using race to keep his job in New London, according to his attorney Ronald Stevens. A fight ensued.

Mayo later pleaded no contest to the reduced charge of second-degree breach of peace and received a suspended sentence without probation.

New London Fire Chief Henry Kydd and Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

g.smith@theday.com

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