Firefighter Accused Of Arson In Bergen County
Residents of Bergen County rely heavily on firefighters to extinguish flames – but what happens when these individuals set fires instead? Although this might seem a little backward, it might be more common than you think. A Bergen County firefighter is now facing charges for setting two vans on fire, and the story seems to get increasingly bizarre the more you read about it. While this might seem ridiculous to many readers, there is nothing funny about the serious penalties associated with arson in New Jersey.
Firefighter Torches Cable Vans in Apparent Act of Revenge
On November 17th, it was reported that a New Jersey firefighter had been officially charged with arson. His crime allegedly involved setting two vans on fire in Bergen County. These vans were owned by the man’s former employer, a cable service company. This implies that the arson was an act of revenge, perhaps due to some unsettled dispute or bitterness. In any case, it seems as if the firefighter was still employed with the cable company, as he was fired shortly after the incident. As a result of this offense, the firefighter was charged with second-degree aggravated arson and third-degree criminal mischief.
Is Arson Common Among Firefighters?
Although some might be completely unaware of this fact, arson is an extremely common crime among firefighters across the world. 100 firefighters are convicted of arson each year, and various studies describe the phenomenon as incredibly persistent. The jury is out on exactly what causes this obsession with arson, but some have suggested that it is simply due to boredom. Others argue that it might be the result of a hero complex, and firefighters set fires because they want media attention for extinguishing them. The real number of fires set by firefighters is impossible to determine, as the departments themselves are more than capable of covering up these incidents.
It is worth noting that various authorities seem very unmotivated to track this phenomenon, and accurate statistics are hard to come by. The general consensus among the law enforcement community is these are “isolated incidents.” This implies that there is no pattern or common theme between firefighter-caused arsons. The FBI, however, apparently has a keen interest in this phenomenon, and the agency has even constructed an accurate profile of average firefighter arsonists. According to the FBI, the average firefighter arsonist is a young white male with a difficult upbringing, an absence of interpersonal relationships, alcoholism, and a general incentive to fight fires for the “thrill” rather than a sense of duty.
What Should You Do if Charged with Arson in New Jersey?
If you ever find yourself facing arson charges in New Jersey, be sure to get in touch with a qualified, experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Choose Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law to discuss potential defense strategies. With the right approach, it is possible to mitigate legal consequences associated with arson charges in the Garden State. Reach out today to get started.