A New Jersey woman has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated arson for setting a man’s house ablaze after he stood her up for sex.
The victim, whose name has not yet been released, told police that Taija M. Russell, 29, of Blackwood, was his “side chick” — and he missed eight calls from her and a slew of text messages on the night of the incident, including, “You wasted my money to come out here,” “U smoked,” “I see you wanna die,” and “I swear to god I hope you die,” police said, according to New York Daily News.
Surveillance video captures Russell buying matches, a lighter and lighter fluid from a local gas station. From there, another camera shows her knocking on his door around 4 a.m. A half an hour later, he wakes to the flames and escapes by removing a window frame and climbing through the opening, police said. The man fled the home wearing only a T-shirt and ran around two-tenths of a mile to Woodbury’s police station. Officials said he was “covered head to toe in soot and ash,” USA Today reports.
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He was taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns, according to police. His dog was also rescued and treated for smoke inhalation.
“The residence and its contents were completely destroyed,” according to the report.
The man told authorities that he asked Russell to come to his house for sex, but fell asleep before she arrived. Police arrested her Tuesday after speaking with witnesses and reviewing hours of surveillance video from the area.
Russell has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated arson, aggravated assault, endangering/creating substantial risk of death and criminal mischief.
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The man and dog “are both recovering well,” police noted in announcing the arrest.
The incident marked the second time this year a scorned woman set fire to a man’s home in Woodbury.
33-year-old Tasia Young was charged with aggravated arson in April for setting fire to her boyfriend’s duplex after she became angry when he sent her home in an Uber following a threesome and the other woman got to stay after the sexual encounter.