NEW MILFORD, N.J. – A Bergenfield man repeatedly banged on a New Milford woman’s front door before dawn before pouring accelerant on it in a failed attempt to set the house on fire, authorities said.
Robert Torres, 18, left after repeatedly banging on the River Edge Avenue woman’s door just before 5 a.m. Sunday, Detective Lt. Kevin Van Saders said.
Officer Andrew Lignos found Torres a short time later near the corner of River Road and Trenton Street, he said.
“Aa gasoline smell was detected emitting from his clothing, and a lighter was located in his possession,” the lieutenant said.
Officers who responded to the River Edge Avenue residence “located the same accelerant covering the victim’s front door,” he said.
“A bottle of torch lighter fluid was located in the area of the residence,” Van Saders added.
Firefighters also responded, along with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Criminal Identification Unit, which collected evidence, he said.
Torres remained at New Bridge Landing Medical Center in Paramus on Thursday under police guard.
He is charged with criminal attempt to commit arson.
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