Linden man charged with arson, aggravated assault of police officers

A Linden man is in custody and criminally charged after setting a bed on fire in his home over the weekend and physically attacking two police officers who responded to the scene, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart jointly announced Monday.

Zumana Karamoko, 23, is charged with second-degree aggravated arson, second-degree aggravated assault on a police officer, third-degree resisting arrest, two counts of third-degree aggravated assault on a police officer, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, November 17, Linden Police Department patrol officers responded to a home on the 600 block of Chandler Avenue on a report that a resident of the home was attempting to set the building on fire, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Caparruva, who is prosecuting the case.  

The first officer to arrive at the scene was attacked and rendered unconscious by Karamoko, who also injured another responding officer while resisting arrest moments later in the area of East Blancke Street and Baltimore Avenue.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the Linden Fire Department. The most seriously injured officer was transported to University Hospital in Newark with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The second officer was treated for minor injuries at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, while a third officer was treated for smoke inhalation at RWJ University Hospital-Rahway.

Karamoko remains in custody pending a first appearance and detention hearing to be scheduled to take place in Superior Court. This incident remains under investigation, and anyone with information is being urged to contact Linden Police Department Detective Maurice Rawlins at 908-474-8537.