Teens arrested for setting playground fire

At approximately 8:05 AM on October 4th, 2016, Union County Police patrol units were dispatched to Mattano Park in Elizabeth on a report of a fire in the playground area.

Upon arrival, officers found the Elizabeth Fire Department extinguishing the fire that 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 began to search the area for the subjects and a review of the newly installed surveillance camera system was being conducted at the same time.

The cameras were able to capture the incident, as well as provide a complete description of the actors, which was also provided to Cpl. Stanaway.

In the area of Niles St and 2nd Ave., approximately 6 blocks from the incident, Cpl. Stanaway located two subjects that matched the description provided and stopped to speak with them.

These subjects were identified as a 14 year old male juvenile, from Elizabeth and an 18 year old female from Elizabeth.

After an investigation, the juvenile was charged with 2nd Degree Arson and 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief and remanded  to the Union County Juvenile Detention Center pending a Juvenile Court Appearance.


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