Woman Accused Of Burning Down Man’s House After He Fell Asleep Before Hookup
Woodbury Police

A New Jersey woman is facing multiple charges after she allegedly set a man’s home on fire after he invited her over for a booty call, but fell asleep and did not hear her at his door.

According to the Cherry Hill Courier-Post, Taija Russell, 29 was arrested on Tuesday and is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated arson, endangering and criminal mischief in the incident that occurred earlier this month.

On Aug. 4, Russell allegedly sent a series of angry texts to the unidentified man, who was sleeping in his home. When her texts (and calls) went unanswered, police say that Russell went to a nearby gas station and bought lighter fluid, matches and a lighter.

Russell is accused of starting a fire outside of the only doorway in the man’s home, and then running away as the fire spread.

The man woke up at around 4:30 a.m. to smoke and flames blocking his way out of the residence. According to police he had to forcefully remove a window frame to escape the burning home.

He then ran to the nearby Woodbury police station, “covered head to toe in soot and ash,” wearing only a T-shirt. After alerting police to the fire at his residence, he ran back home.

Firefighters who responded to the fire were able to save the man’s dog, but all of his belongings and his home were destroyed in the fire.

The victim was taken to the hospital and had to be treated for smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns.

The man told officers that he had invited Russell to his home adding “that she was a ‘side chick’ whom he had been having a sexual relationship with,” according to the probable cause statement.

Police say they learned that Russell sent a slew of texts to the victim, including ones that read “I see you wanna die” and “You wasted my money to come out here.”

Video surveillance also placed Russell outside of the man’s home “just prior to the fire” and also showed her making a purchase at the nearby gas station.

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