From the Office of the State Fire Marshal:
ABINGDON, MD (November 27, 2012) – Deputy State Fire Marshals have charged a twenty-two year old man with two counts of malicious burning after two separate fires were discovered late last night in the Abingdon area.
The first fire occurred at 11:32 p.m. after a passerby reported observing a fire at the intersection of MD Route 24 and I-95 in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway sign. The fire caused approximately $200.00 in damages to shrubbery and landscaping material. Abingdon Fire Company responded and quickly extinguished the fire. During the course of the investigation another fire was reported at 3308 Emmorton Road at 12:20 p.m. after another passerby observed a small fire and alerted the homeowner. The homeowner extinguished the fire but not before causing approximately $50.00 in damages.
Deputy State Fire Marshals determined John Paul Akin, Jr.; age 22 of the unit block of Ripplebrook Way in Perry Hall doused the area near the interstate exit ramp with gasoline and intentionally set the fire after leaving his job at the Waffle House on Edgewood Road. Akin later walked to the area of Emmorton Road and again set a small fire using newspaper in the front yard of a home. No connection has been established between Akin and the homeowner and it is believed the incendiary fire was a random act.
During the course of the investigation, Akin admitted to investigators he started the fires because of personal issues and was angry. Investigators were assisted by troopers from the Maryland State Police Bel Air barrack as well as deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Akin was served with a criminal summons at his home and charged with two counts of 2nd degree Malicious Burning. A trial date of January 23, 2013 has been scheduled in Harford County District Court. If convicted of all offenses, Akin could receive up to 3 years imprisonment and/or $1,000 in fines.