West Windsor police arrest four in string of arsons

Garbage containers and portable toilets targeted

By: Courtney Gross
   PLAINSBORO — Three juveniles and a 21-year-old West Windsor resident were charged Wednesday in a string of arson-related incidents within parks and housing developments throughout the township, police said.
   The juveniles, two 15-year-old Plainsboro residents as well as a 16-year-old Plainsboro resident, and Pierce Hoedl, a 21-year-old student, set fire to several refuse containers and portable toilets between July 17 and Aug. 8, police said. In total, seven fires were deliberately set and damage is estimated at $4,800, police said.
   While responding to a refuse container fire in the Ravens Crest condominium development at 10 p.m. on Aug. 8, police said they were notified of a burglary in progress to a parked car. Police said one juvenile fled on foot, leaving his book bag behind, and another was apprehended.
   Both were later linked to the vandalism occurring throughout the township in the past month, police said, and further investigation revealed the other individuals charged in the remaining arson incidents.
   Mr. Hoedl was charged with two counts of arson for refuse container fires at Community Middle School and the Plainsboro Village construction site on July 26, police said. After failing to post $35,000 bail, he was taken to Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center.
   One of the 15-year-olds, a resident of Ravens Crest Drive, was charged with four counts of arson and criminal mischief as well as possession of fireworks for fires involving portable toilets, police said. The fires occurred at Morris Davison Park on July 17, Pond View Park and Plainsboro Park on July 19 and at Plainsboro Park on July 26. The juvenile was committed to the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center pending a family court hearing.
   The other 15-year-old, an Aspen Drive resident, was charged with two counts of arson and three counts of criminal mischief, burglary, theft, possession of fireworks, hindering apprehension, possession of drug paraphernalia and underage consumption of alcohol. Police said the youth was connected to the fires in Morris Davison Park on July 17 and a refuse container fire on Aug. 2 in the Brittany townhouse development. He was also connected to the shattering of the driver’s side window of a BMW in Deer Creek Apartments on Aug. 4 and the vehicle burglary on Aug. 8 at the Ravens Crest development, police said. The boy was released to the custody of his parents pending a family court date.
   The 16-year-old, a Tamarron Drive resident, was charged with one count of arson, criminal mischief, possession of fireworks, underage consumption of alcoholic beverages and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was involved with the fire at Morris Davison Park on July 17 and the vehicle burglary on Aug. 8, police said. He was later released to his parents pending a court date.