FREEHOLD –   A Toms River man has been arrested and charged with setting ablaze a group of commercial vehicles belonging to a local business in Wall Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.

Harcourt “Paul” S. Ward, 69, of Toms River, has been charged with four counts of second-degree Arson in connection with a fire that was responsible for the destruction of six vehicles.

On Monday evening, September 26, at approximately 10:11 p.m., the Wall Township Police Department received a call for a fire at the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue. Upon arrival, members of the Wall Township Police Department and Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office found six total vehicles on fire.

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 value of the damage caused by the fire was over $1 million.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Joshua Rios at 800-533-7443 or Wall Township Police Detective Zach Honecker at 732-449-4500.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin J. Sidley, of the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau.

Legal representation for Ward was not immediately available.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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