NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man was arrested Friday after a candidate for Newark mayor’s campaign bus was torched.
Michael Benkowski, 43, was arrested Friday, according to the Essex county Prosecutor’s office.
He was charged with arson, criminal mischief and burglary for allegedly setting fire Feb. 16 to Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka’s campaign bus.
Benkowski taken into custody in an apartment on Broad Street in Newark, prosecutors said.
Investigators said they traced a van used in the arson to a person who is paid to work for the campaign of Baraka’s opponent, Shavar Jeffries. That worker has not been charged.
Jeffries issued a statement calling the behavior unacceptable and saying anyone involved in the arson must be prosecuted.
Baraka currently serves as councilman for the South Ward of Newark. Jeffries works as a civil rights attorney.
A recent poll showed Baraka with a sizable lead over Jeffries, according to NJ.com.
The election is set for May 13.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- Police: Man Breaks Into Connecticut Home, Watches Girl Sleep
- NYPD Officers Create Special Coins To Raise Money For Victims Of Domestic Violence
- Pet Sitter Hired Through Popular App Loses Family’s Dog On Long Island
- NYC, Bayonne Vying To Attract New Amazon Headquarters
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)