A New Jersey woman who was invited to a man’s home for a late-night hookup was angered when she arrived and the man didn’t answer his door. In a fit of rage, the woman burned down the man’s home in hopes that she would end his life.
Taija M. Russell, 29, of Blackwood, was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted murder and aggravated arson in the Aug. 4 blaze, which left the man with first- and second-degree burns.
The man described Russell as a “side chick” in a police report on the incident. Police were alerted to the fire around 4:30 a.m. when the man ran into the Woodbury police station lobby wearing only a T-shirt and covered in soot.
Coughing and out of breath, he told them he had just escaped from his burning home a short distance away on South Barber Street.
After firefighters doused the blaze and rescued the victim’s dog, investigators determined the fire was an arson. A review of messages on the man’s phone and surveillance video led police to Russell, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim told police he had invited her to his house for sex, but fell asleep before she arrived.
Not the “I fell asleep” trick. Would have been better to invite her in and say he had a headache.
The outlet added that messages from Russell’s phone included texts that she wanted to see the unnamed man die. The man suffered burns to his hands and body along with some smoke inhalation.
Russell has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated arson along with other charges.
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