Police searching for traveling nurse who allegedly set NJ hospital worker on fire

HACKENSACK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are investigating after a traveling nurse allegedly set a Hackensack University Medical Center worker on fire Monday morning.

Authorities say a 54-year-old employee got into an argument with traveling nurse Nicholas Pagano, who is not a hospital employee but working there as a contracted nurse since mid-November.


After the argument, authorities say Pagano entered a break room around 5:20 a.m. Monday, struck the woman with a wrench and set her on fire.

The victim suffered third-degree burns over her upper body and hands, as well as a laceration to her head that required stitches.

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Upon leaving the store, Suffolk County police say the woman saw a woman filming her.


She was initially treated in the emergency room at HUMC and then transported to another medical facility for treatment.

Pagano fled in a car after the incident, and law enforcement is actively looking for him.

Police believe he's driving a 1998 white Jeep Grand Cherokee with black roof racks and New Jersey plates.

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced that Pagano has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful weapons possession.

Police say Pagano should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts or if he is observed, please contact the Hackensack Police Department at (201) 646-7777.

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