FDNY: Man Broke In, Set Fires at Jewish Dorm as Students Slept

NEW YORK (AP) -
Peter Weyand. (FDNY)
Screencap from security camera as suspect breaks into dormitory. (FDNY)

A man broke into a dormitory at a Jewish university and set fires, using matches intended for lighting a Chanukah menorah, the fire commissioner said.

No one was injured by the fires early Friday at a Yeshiva University dorm in Manhattan. Fire department officials said there was no indication the episode was a hate crime.

Suspect Peter Weyand, 33, was awaiting arraignment Saturday after being arrested on arson and other charges. It was unclear whether he has a lawyer who can comment on the charges. No telephone number could immediately be found for his family.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Weyand set three separate fires at the dorm as students slept around 4 a.m. Friday. The blazes were quickly extinguished.

The fire department released surveillance video of a man kicking out part of a glass door to the lobby and then crawling through it, briefly picking up a front-desk phone and continuing into the building. The video doesn’t show the fires.