LINDEN/ROSELLE, NJ - Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart announced Thursday that a Roselle man is in custody and has been criminally charged in connection with a series of arsons committed on a single night last week in Linden,

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. 

At approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, Linden Police and Fire Departments responded 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.

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Approximately 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 say 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. When taken into custody, he was found to be in possession of a lighter, a piece of cardboard, and a can of WD-40. 

An investigation resulted in Wise being identified as the person responsible for all of the fires, as well as the break-in on Roselle Street. He is currently being held at Union County Jail pending an evaluation to take place before his next Superior Court appearance, tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. next Friday, August 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.

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