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Teen Charged With Attempting To Burn Rutgers University Building

Aakash Dalal (credit: Monica Miller, WCBS 880)

Aakash Dalal (credit: Monica Miller, WCBS 880)

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HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A teenager charged in a series of attacks on New Jersey synagogues is facing another arson charge for allegedly trying to burn a building at Rutgers University.

The Record reported on Friday that campus police alleged in a criminal complaint that Aakash Dalal set newspapers on fire and slid them under the porch and through the mail slot of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps building at the New Brunswick campus on Dec. 10, 2011.

Dalal’s attorney, Chris DiLorenzo, told the newspaper that his client took no part in the attack.

The 19-year-old Dalal previously pleaded not guilty to charges of arson, bias intimidation and criminal mischief in a series of attacks on synagogues in Bergen County, including the firebombing of a rabbi’s home. Nineteen-year-old Anthony Graziano also has pleaded not guilty in that case.

Dalal remains in jail with bail set at $2.5 million.

No one was injured in the Rutgers fire, and the building sustained minor damage, with some burning under the porch and debris inside the mail slot, Rutgers spokesman Greg Trevor said Friday. A former Rutgers student, Michael Leviss, also was charged in the attack, Trevor said.

The Record reported that 21-year-old Leviss was arrested Thursday and released Friday afternoon on $35,000 bail, according to Middlesex County jail officials. He faces an arson charge. It was not clear who is representing him.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)