ELIZABETH, NJ—Two Elizabeth juveniles, 14 and 18 years old, were charged with 2nd Degree Arson and 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief and remanded to the Union County Juvenile Detention Center pending a Juvenile Court Appearance in connection with a fire set October 4 in the newly renovated playground in Mattano Park.
Union County Police and Elizabeth firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the playground area. It had been burning the rubberized playground mulch along with a portion of a climbing structure. A witness provided a description of two subjects who were observed around the fire and, as it became larger, ran out of the park.
County Police Corporal Chris Stanaway searched the area for the subjects. The cameras captured the incident, and provided a complete description of the youths, which was also provided to Cpl. Stanaway. In the area of Niles St and Second Ave., approximately six blocks from the incident, Cpl. Stanaway located two subjects who matched the description.
Mattano Park was recently redesigned to accommodate special needs children by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the first county park so chosen.