RIDGEFIELD, N.J. – A Ridgefield Park woman’s ex-boyfriend broke into her apartment, chained the door from the inside and tried to set the place on fire, said police who got there in time.
Officers dispatched to a burglary call at a 5th Street apartment just after 9:30 p.m. Monday “noticed a strong odor of natural gas” and found the door chained shut from inside, Lt. Joseph Rella said.
Forcing their way in, the officers found the stove knobs on and a lit candle, Rella said.
They turned off the gas at the source with help from a PSE&G crew that already was there investigating a gas odor call, then discovered that the woman -- who wasn't home at the time -- had “domestic violence issues” with her ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Richard Prado of Guttenberg, the lieutenant said.
Detectives joined the officers, along with the members of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification, who collected evidence.
Detective Sgt. Michael Cmielewski and Detective Nicholas Triano then learned that Prado had been in town that day -- and was caught on surveillance video buying the candle, Rella said.
Prado was summoned to headquarters, where he was interviewed and then arrested, he said.
A judge ordered Prado held in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing, charged with two counts of attempted arson, burglary and recklessly causing damage.
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