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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 26, 2010

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FIRE MARSHALS ARREST STATEN ISLAND MAN FOR SETTING
THREE-ALARM FIRE THAT INJURED 10 FIREFIGHTERS

Darnell Weeks

FDNY Fire Marshals on Monday arrested 46-year old Darnell “Jersey” Weeks of Staten Island in connection with a November 19th third-alarm fire at 42 Westervelt Avenue that injured 10 firefighters.  Weeks, a well-known panhandler at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, set the fire as revenge, believing he was cheated out of $4 by a woman who went out to purchase drugs.

Fire Marshals said Weeks gave the woman $4 toward the purchase of drugs and when she failed to return, he set fire to the three-story private dwelling where she lived.  The fire spread to a nearby building and took approximately 138 firefighters nearly an hour and 20 minutes to bring under control.

Fire Marshals tracked Weeks to a friend’s house in New Jersey on Sunday. He returned to the city this morning and surrendered to Fire Marshals.

Weeks, who is well-known to Staten Island Ferry personnel as an “aggressive panhandler” at the ferry terminal on Staten Island, most recently resided at 415 Jersey St., but also spends a good deal of his time in Jersey City, NJ, where he grew up.

He is charged with second-degree arson, reckless endangerment and 10 counts of assault for each of the firefighter injuries.  He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.  Weeks has a string of prior arrests for robbery and drugs in Staten Island, New Jersey and North Carolina.

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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