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Great Neck Arson Arrest

Local woman charged with setting fire to Safa Restaurant

The Nassau County Police Arson Bomb Squad reports that a Great Neck woman was arrested on arson charges last Thursday afternoon, Aug. 8. Police report that Inger McCaskill, 46, a resident of the Old Village, was arrested at 2:47 p.m., for allegedly setting fire to a local restaurant, located along Middle Neck Road in the Village of Great Neck.


According to detectives, McCaskill used a lighter to set fire to a bush next to Safa Restuarnt at 451 Middle Neck Road. Detectives say that the fire spread to the exterior front wall of the restaurant, causing fire to the building. The restaurant was unoccupied at the time.


Police also report that McCaskill removed a set of decorative lights from the front of the restaurant as she “fled on foot from the scene.”


The police report sent to the Great Neck Record states that an “officer on patrol discovered the fire and apprehended the defendant nearby.” The report also states that as they placed the suspect under arrest, “… she began to struggle with the officers … flailing her arms in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed.” Police were able to secure the defendant following “a brief struggle.”


The Great Neck Alert Fire Department responded with five fire trucks and 20 fire fighters to extinguish the fire. There were no injuries reported.


At the time of the incident, Jorge Suarez, an employee of the Village of Great Neck’s Water Pollution Control Department, had been working on a village sewer pump station near-by. Suarez told the Record that he saw a woman throwing a lit cigarette at the small temple at Picadilly Road and Middle Neck Road. He said that he told her to stop and asked what she was doing. Suarez said that the woman just looked at him, lit another cigarette and shoved it in the radiator of his truck. 


According to Suarez, the woman then walked north on Middle Neck Road, throwing two more lit cigarettes, this time at the buildings north of the temple, And then she set fire to

a bush in the front of Safa Restaurant, with the fire spreading to the outside wall of the building. Suarez said that he called 911 and had flagged down a passing police car and he stamped out the fire as the police officer went off in pursuit of the woman. 


Suarez told the Record that about 12 police vehicles arrived at the scene. He later filled out “a complete police report.”


Detectives report that McCaskill was charged with arson, fourth degree; arson, fifth degree; petit larceny; obstruction of governmental administration, second degree; and resisting arrest. She was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, Aug. 9, at First District Court in Hempstead.