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Man Charged With Burning Abingdon Shrubs

A Perry Hall man is facing charges in connection with two incidents in Abingdon Tuesday.

A Perry Hall man has been charged with setting shrubs on fire at two different places in Abingdon late Monday night.

Police say John Paul Akin Jr. admitted to setting two fires—one at the intersection of MD Route 24 and I-95 and the other outside a residence not far away—because of "personal issues" and anger, according to a release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

Akin, 22, of the unit block of Ripplebrook Court in Perry Hall, was charged by criminal summons Tuesday with two counts of malicious burning.

Around 11:32 p.m. Monday a person driving in the area of MD Route 24 and I-95 noticed a fire burning in front of the Vietnam Memorial Veterans Highway sign and reported it to police, the release states.

The Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company arrived a short time later and put out the fire. The blaze caused about $200 in damage to shrubbery and landscaping materials owned by the state, according to the release.

As fire and police personnel were investigating the fire, another fire was found not far away outside a home in the 3300 block of Emmorton Road. A passerby noticed the fire and told the homeowner. The homeowner put out the fire, but not before it caused about $50 in damage, the release states.

Deputy state fire marshals believe Akin poured gasoline near the I-95 exit and ignited it after leaving his job at the Waffle House on Edgewood Road, according to the release.

Investigators believe Akin then walked to the Emmorton Road address and set another fire using newspaper, according to the release. Investigators found no connection between Akin and the resident and believe the second fire was set randomly, the release states.

Akin was served a criminal summons at his home in Perry Hall Tuesday. If convicted on all charges, Akin could be sentenced to up to three years in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Troopers with the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack and deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office helped in the investigation.

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