Pair arrested after Mustang set ablaze in Groton

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Groton — Groton police say two men conspired to set a 1999 Ford Mustang ablaze near Tacoma Court before fleeing the scene early Friday morning.

Police and the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department responded to reports about 4 a.m. Friday that an unoccupied vehicle was on fire. Police say fire investigators, after collecting physical evidence and interviewing several witnesses, determined the fire was intentionally set, allegedly by Nehemiah Knight, 21, of 287 Briar Hill Road, Groton. Police said Christopher Czekala, 20, of 434 Cow Hill Road, Mystic, drove Knight to Tacoma Court.

Police allege Knight spread a flammable liquid on the Mustang before setting it on fire. The blaze led to no injuries but ultimately destroyed the sports car.

Officers located and arrested the pair shortly after police and fire personnel responded, and charged both with third-degree conspiracy to commit arson. Knight additionally faces charges of third-degree arson and reckless burning.

Bail was set for Knight at $50,000 cash surety bond, and he is due back in court on Monday, Aug. 19.

Czekala's bail was set at $10,000 nonsurety bond. He is due in court on Friday, Aug. 30.


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