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UPDATE: Toms River Man Admits to 2022 Arson Incident in Wall Township

Freehold Township

By: Najla Alexander

Authorities in Monmouth County announced that a Toms River man admitted to setting ablaze a group of commercial vehicles belonging to a local business in Wall Township.AdMonmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago said on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, Harcourt “Paul” S. Ward, 70, pleaded guilty to third-degree Arson before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Henry P. Butehorn.

As a result of his plea, the State has recommended that Ward face three years in a New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced, tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2024, officials stated. 

The guilty plea stems from an investigation that began on Monday evening, September 26, 2022, at approximately 10:11 p.m., when the Wall Township Police Department responded to a fire at the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue, authorities say.

According to officials, upon arrival, members of the Wall Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office found six vehicles on fire.

Officials say an investigation revealed that Ward, of Ward Realty and Insurance in Point Pleasant, was the person responsible for purposely setting the vehicles ablaze.

The estimated cost of the damage caused by the fire was over $1 million, officials said.