LINDEN, NJ – A Roselle man is in custody and charged in connection with a string of arsons committed on a single night last week in Linden, authorities said Thursday.
Marcus D. Wise, 30, of Roselle, is charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated arson, two counts of third-degree arson and single counts of second-degree attempted aggravated arson, third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal mischief, Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart announced.
At about 10 p.m. on July 25, first responders rushed to the 800 block of North Wood Avenue on a report of a structure fire at a business, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor and Special Prosecutions Unit Supervisor Melissa Spagnoli.
About 30 minutes later, members of the same departments responded to a report of a fire in a vacant home on the 900 block of Seymour Avenue in Linden, Spagnoli said. And shortly after midnight that same night, two additional fires were reported, one a brush fire located on the 20 block of East Curtis Street, the other a dumpster fire on the 300 block of East Henry Street, on the grounds of Soehl Middle School, authorities said.
Shortly after 1:15 a.m., Linden Police officers responded to the 400 block of Roselle Street on a report of a person throwing rocks through a glass door of a building and found a suspect later identified as Wise at the scene, authorities said. When taken into custody, he was found to be in possession of a lighter, a piece of cardboard and a can of WD-40, authorities said.
Law enforcement identified Wise as as the person responsible for all of the fires, as well as the break-in on Roselle Street, authorities said. He is being held at Union County Jail pending an evaluation to take place before his next Superior Court appearance, tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, authorities said.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Linden Police Department Detectives Matt Jones or Tim Hubert at 908-474-8537.
Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison, while third-degree crimes can result in 3 to 5 years.