A nurse from West Deptford is wanted on first-degree attempted murder charges for allegedly setting fire to an employee in an early morning attack Monday at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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

According to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, Pagano allegedly set a female worker on fire after an argument and struck her with a wrench inside a break room around 5:20 a.m.

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

Authorities say Pagano fled in a car after the incident. Police believe he's driving a 1998 white Jeep Grand Cherokee with black roof racks and New Jersey plates. Pagano is known to have ties to Hammonton, Atlantic County.

Pagano is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and unlawful weapons possession.

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

If you have any information about this investigation you are asked to contact the Hackensack Police Department at (201) 646-7777.

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