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Pine Hill Police Department
Friday June 28th, 2019 :: 03:09 p.m. EDT

Advisory

2 Arrests in Fire Investigation at Charles Bowen Complex & John Glenn Elementary School



On June 27, 2019 two individuals were taken into custody and subsequently charged with intentionally setting fire to the playground equipment at the Charles Bowen Recreational Complex, in addition to defiant trespassing and creating dangerous conditions at the John H. Glenn Elementary School.

Through our committed partnership with the Pine Hill School District, Detectives reviewed video footage from John H. Glenn Elementary School security cameras and located footage of the suspects lighting several fires on the ground, benches and playground equipment on school property shortly after 2:00am on June 22, 2019.  The suspects fled the area after a vehicle drove through the parking area of the school.  

Continued investigation by the Pine Hill Detective Bureau and Pine Hill Fire Marshal led to the arrest of both suspects on the following charges;
 
Christian Taunitas
21 years of age
Unit block of Kirk Lane, Pine Hill
 
Charges related to the Charles Bowen Recreational Complex Fire
  • Conspiracy to Commit Arson                                            3rd degree
  • Failure to Control or Report a Dangerous Fire                4th Degree
  • Defiant Trespassing                                                           Petty Disorderly Persons
 
Charges related to the John H. Glenn Elementary School Fire
  • Criminal Trespassing                                                           4th Degree
  • Creating a Dangerous Condition                                         Petty Disorderly Persons (3 counts)
 
16 year old Juvenile 
Pine Hill
 
Charges related to the Charles Bowen Recreational Field 
  • Arson                                                                                    3rd Degree
  • Conspiracy to Commit Arson                                              3rd Degree
  • Criminal Mischief                                                                3rd Degree                          
  • Failure to Control or Report a Dangerous Fire                 4th Degree
  • Defiant Trespassing                                                             Petty Disorderly Persons
 
Charges related to the John H. Glenn Elementary School
  • Criminal Trespassing                                                           4th Degree
  • Creating a Dangerous Condition                                         Petty Disorderly Persons (3 counts)
 
Christian Taunitis was processed and remanded to the Camden County Correctional Facility.  The 16 year old juvenile was processed and remanded to the Camden County Juvenile Detention Center, both pending court appearances. 

Investigations such as this rely on our community partners, our residents and all stakeholders to assist in gathering the necessary information to bring about a successful conclusion. 

We thank the Pine Hill School District and Pine Hill Fire District for their continued partnership and all of those who shared the information about the incident at the Charles Bowen Recreational Complex on social media and other outlets.

Address/Location
Pine Hill Police Department
48 West 6th Avenue
Pine Hill, NJ 08021

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 856-783-1549

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