ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (UPDATE) -- A 33-year-old ex-con who spent 10 of the past 13 years in state prison was charged with attempted murder after trying to burn down his girlfriend's Elmwood Park home, authorities told Daily Voice.
Sharrod L. Stuart assaulted and choked the woman before leaving, trying to break his way back in and setting a laundry bag of clothes in front of her apartment door on fire -- "causing flames to spread to the roof of the porch to the apartment," Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal said late Tuesday morning.
Police got a first 911 call from the woman just after 3 p.m., saying he'd beaten her and broken a window trying to get back into the Elmwood Terrace apartment, Grewal said.
She called them again after Stuart returned and set the fire, the prosecutor said.
Borough police arrested him nearby, he said.
Stuart -- who'd been released from state prison last November -- was being held without bail in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Besides attempted murder, he is charged with aggravated arson "knowing the danger of death or injury" and aggravated assault in an "attempt to cause significant bodily injury."
Stuart, who records show has a 10th-grade education, served a month over seven years in state prison for carjacking a victim at gunpoint outside the Englewood ShopRite, then leading police on a high-speed chase along the Palisades Interstate Parkway in May 2003.
He was taken into custody after his car careened off the parkway and rolled several times.
Stuart was released in November 2011 -- then arrested again the following June in connection with nearly two dozen burglaries in and around Wayne.
He served a month over three years before being released last November, records show.
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