Former MMA fighter held without bond in Stafford
Ex-Md. police officer accused of fraud, ID theft, attempted arson
A judge Friday denied a bond request from a former police officer accused of, among other things, plotting to burn down the Stafford County Public Safety Building and attempting to burn the residence of her child’s father in Fairfax County.
Cassie Christine Crisano, 37, of Stafford is charged with multiple offenses, including fraud, identity theft and attempted arson in Stafford. Prosecutor Tara Mooney said Friday in Stafford Circuit Court that more charges are pending.
Crisano, a former police officer in Prince George’s County, Md., and a former mixed martial arts fighter, also was charged Thursday night on an attempted arson allegation in Fairfax County. That charge stemmed from a 2016 incident in which gasoline was doused on the front stoop of her former boyfriend’s home.
According to testimony and court records, Crisano was initially arrested Aug. 31 after being accused of conning an insurance company out of $20,000. Mooney told Judge Donald Haddock that Crisano staged a burglary at a home she shared with a Pentagon police officer on Cannon Ridge Drive in southern Stafford. The officer is also the father of Crisano’s young daughter.
The Stafford Sheriff’s Office began an investigation in August after Crisano’s former friend, Terry Linton, told police about the insurance fraud. Linton, 31, was a fraud investigator for the Navy Federal Credit Union when he was arrested in Frederick County in July on a charge of soliciting a child on the internet.
In an apparent attempt to reduce his own legal troubles, Linton told police about the fraud case in Stafford. The Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Cannon Ridge Drive address and found the property that had been reported stolen, along with 93 account numbers from Navy Federal and names and dates of birth.
Mooney said police also recovered three different identifications on Crisano when she was arrested; all three are for Navy Federal customers.
Unaware that Linton was the one who’d set her up, according to the evidence, Crisano contacted Linton on Sept. 3, three days after she was released on bond. In a taped phone call, Crisano implored Linton to help her destroy the Public Safety Building as a way to get rid of the evidence against her.
She told Linton, according to the evidence, that the “only way to get rid of (the evidence) is to get rid of that building.” The plot involved Molotov cocktails and setting fire to a field a couple of miles away to divert fire department resources from the primary target.
Mooney said Crisano showed up for a prearranged meeting with Linton about 10:20 p.m. Sept. 3 to carry out the plot. Instead, she was greeted and arrested by Stafford detectives. Mooney said Crisano had latex gloves and a gasoline can, among other things, when she was arrested.
Mooney said Crisano is clearly a danger to the community and told Judge Haddock that denying her bond “should be the easiest decision you’ll make all day. She’s willing to go to any lengths.”
Defense attorney Jason Pelt argued that despite her “selfdestructive” behavior, Crisano deserved a bond. He pointed out that she has no prior criminal record and could be monitored by GPS, house arrest or a requirement to check into a mental facility.
Pelt also argued it is unfair that Crisano is being held without bond while Linton and the Pentagon officer are not even facing charges in Stafford. Pelt said there was no way Crisano concocted the fraud scheme on her own, saying it was obvious that the Navy Federal information came from Linton and that the officer should have known something was amiss.
A preliminary hearing for Crisano is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Stafford General District Court. Pelt said Crisano left the police force several years ago after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after seeing her partner get shot.