Police have arrested an alleged arsonist who lit a car on fire in a Queens neighborhood early Sunday and is believed to have ignited four smaller fires within a few blocks overnight as residents slept.
The car, a 2007 Mercury Mariner, was found on fire near 49th Street and 39th Avenue in Woodside at around 5 a.m., according to authorities. NBC 4 New York has learned that the burnt car belongs to former city councilman Eric Gioia. Police don't believe the three-time councilman's car was targeted.
Police believe the arsonist who set fire to Gioia's car was responsible for setting garbage on fire in four other nearby locations around the same time.
On Monday night, police arrested 22-year-old Devon Page of Woodside on five counts of arson. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Surveillance video of one of the fires captures a man believed to be Page walking up to the back of a restaurant and putting a match into Dumpsters before walking away.
Within minutes, the flames spread up the side of the building. The fire department responded and the blaze was quickly extinguished.