2008-01-04 / Front Page

BH Man Held In Long Beach Arson

By Howard Schwach

Detectives from the Nassau County Arson and Bomb Squad arrested a Belle Harbor man on Wednesday after he allegedly set fire to his own automobile and then reported the fire as arson to Long Beach police officers.

A spokesperson for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice identified the man as Robert Ruland, 19, of 172 Beach 129 Street.

Court records show that Ruland called the 911 system at 12:45 a.m. on January 2 from Harding Avenue in Long Beach to report that his 2008 Chevrolet Impala had been broken into and set on fire. He said that somebody had set fire to the driver's seat, the rear seat and the dashboard.

By the time Long Beach firefighters responded, the fire had gone out on its own, fire officials say.

After an investigation by detectives, however, Ruland was arrested about noon on January 2 and charged with setting the fire himself.

Ruland was arraigned in Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday, January 3, on a charge of arson in third degree, a spokesperson for the District Attorney said. He reportedly may also face charges for filing a false official report as well

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