EDISON — An Edison police officer was arrested yesterday and charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson for allegedly setting fire to the home of an Edison police captain and his family, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Michael E. Lloyd of the Monroe Township Police Department announced.
Officer Michael A. Dotro, 35, was arrested at his home in Manalapan and was charged on May 23 during an investigation of the May 20 fire at the Monroe Township home of Capt. Mark Anderko of the Edison Police Department.
The charges were filed against Dotro during an intensive investigation by members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monroe Township Police Department.
Dotro, who has been an Edison Police Officer for nine years, was suspended from his job with pay.
Superior Court Judge Vincent LeBlon set bail at $5 million and said the defendant must post the full amount before he can be released from custody. The judge also stipulated that if Dotro posts bail, he must surrender his firearms and passport and may not have any contact with the victims.
The investigation began when Monroe Township police were alerted at 3:59 a.m. to the fire at a home on Arlene Drive in Monroe Township.
Police, EMT workers and firefighters from Monroe Township Fire Stations 23-A, 23-B, 51 and 57 arrived. The fire was extinguished within 10 to 15 minutes.
Capt. Anderko, his wife, two children and 92-year-old mother were home at the time of the fire, but were not injured.
The investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monroe Township Police Department quickly determined that the fire had been intentionally set outside the home. The fire caused extensive damage to the two-story, colonial-style home.
Carey thanked investigators for their tireless efforts to quickly secure evidence and identify and charge the suspect.
The investigation is active and continuing. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Detective Sgt. Lisa Robinson of the Monroe Township Police Department at 732-521-0222, extension 149, or Investigator Todd O’Malley of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3908.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Dotro are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!