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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Teaneck PD: Barricaded Tenant With Knives Tasered After Starting Apartment Fire

The fire was in a top floor apartment of the three-story Chesnut Avenue apartment building in Teaneck.
The fire was in a top floor apartment of the three-story Chesnut Avenue apartment building in Teaneck. Photo Credit: INSET: Denise Daurio

An emotionally disturbed Teaneck man armed with several knives was tasered and taken into custody Monday night after he set fire to his apartment and then tried to run out of the building, authorities said.

Police responding to a call of a man throwing objects and creating a disturbance found William Caraway in the foyer area of the Chestnut Avenue apartment building armed with several knives, Police Chief Glenn M. O’Reilly said.

"Commands were given to put the weapons down, but Caraway refused and fled back into the building, where he barricaded himself in his apartment," O'Reilly said Tuesday.

"Officers, with the assistance of family members, attempted to communicate with Caraway by phone and through the door of the apartment," the chief said.

However, he said, Caraway "refused to exit the apartment."

"Several minutes later, with officers still attempting to communicate with him, Caraway ran from the apartment after setting it on fire," O'Reilly said.

He tried to get past officers, refusing their commands to stop, so a Taser was used, the chief said.

Caraway was then taken to Holy Name Hospital and Medical Center for evaluation, he said.

The apartment building was immediately evacuated and the Teaneck Fire Department contained the two-alarm fire to Caraway's third-floor apartment.

Police charged Caraway with aggravated arson and weapons possession, the chief said.

A Hackensack FAST team and firefighters from Bergenfield and Englewood were among the assisting responders.

Bergenfield, Bogota and Ridgefield Park firefighters covered the township.

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