NEWARK — Law enforcement officials today released a photo of a possible suspect in the vandalism Sunday of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's campaign bus.
The bus, which was parked next to Baraka's Central Ward campaign headquarters, had been torn apart inside, according to Baraka's communications director Frank Baraff. Sugar was found in the gas tank and a small fire was set inside of the bus as well, Baraff said.
Shortly after the incident, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura offered a $1,000 reward for any information regarding the incident.
The photo, released today by Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn
Murray, depicts a light-skinned male wearing a dark, hooded winter coat,
a hat and blue jeans.
"We're looking for a male Caucasian or Hispanic approximately 5-feet-8 inches to 5-feet-9 inches, wearing a dark colored jacket," said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office.
Last week, the mayoral race became a two-man fight after North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. and Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif bowed out of the contest.
Baraka will now only face former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries in the contest to take the seat left empty when Cory Booker won a seat in the U.S. Senate. The election is in May.
Capt. John Brown, a Newark Fire Department spokesman, said emergency officials were called to the scene on Central Avenue around 7 a.m.
"Upon arrival we found a small fire on the bus," Brown said. "We extinguished the fire."
Brown said the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Newark arson squad were on scene investigating the incident.
Baraff said the "truth is we have no idea who did it."
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