Ocean County Man Charged With Arson

File Photo

  WHITING – A 77-year-old man has been charged with arson in connection to five separate fires set within a fourth-month span, authorities said.

  Nicholas Depalma of Whiting was charged with five counts of Aggravated Arson.

  According to police, Depalma was responsible for setting a series of five separate dumpster fires in Manchester Township between January 1 and April 26. Four of these fires were set near structures, causing damage to them. The other fire was set by a large wooded area, police said.

  On November 23, Depalma surrendered himself to Manchester Township Police Headquarters. He was processed and released on a summons, as a consequence of bail reform, pending a future appearance.

  Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Manchester Township Chief of Police Robert Dolan commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad and the Manchester Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Depalma’s arrest.

  The charges referenced are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.