Alex Blodgett, a 39-year-old Brooklyn resident, was arrested early Monday morning and charged with criminal mischief and three counts each of arson and reckless endangerment, the New York Police Department (NYPD) told Fox News on Tuesday. Blodgett is accused of setting fire to the outdoor structure at Loulou French Bistro on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea at about 4:15 a.m. Monday, police said.
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He then allegedly fled the area, but not before responders blasted his description to investigators in the area. Police recognized Blodgett shortly thereafter about five blocks away and found he "was in possession of lighter fluid, a lighter and a bottle containing an unknown liquid," the NYPD said.
Investigators later linked Blodgett to 13 other fires set in parts of Manhattan over a 90-minute period – two of which were building arsons and 11 others were garbage fires, police said.
Blodgett was taken to a local hospital for a psychological evaluation. Police are still investigating the additional arsons.