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Hackensack man charged with arson, attempted murder in fire

Photo Credit: Courtesy HACKENSACK PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Hackensack man was charged with aggravated arson and attempted murder after trying to torch the apartment of a woman he’d had a longstanding beef with, police said this morning.

The trouble between Gary Brown, 53, and the 49-year-old woman apparently began when both were staying at the homeless shelter in Hackensack and “carried over several years,” Police Capt. Thomas Salcedo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.

Last night, he said, “it came to a head.”

At just after 7:30 p.m., Brown set a pile a pile of trash on fire outside the woman’s fourth-floor Polifly Road apartment, the captain said. The door caught fire itself, trapping the woman inside and sending smoke into the hallway, he said.

She and several of her neighbors called 911, Salcedo said.

Some of the neighbors also came out with pots full of water and tossed them on the flames. A resident with a fire extinguisher finished it off.

The woman — who’d lived with Brown in the past — wasn’t injured, Salcedo said.

Brown fled but didn’t get very far. He was being held on $200,000 bail, charged with arson, aggravated arson and attempted murder.


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