Florida Man Lights Patrol Car On Fire, Apologizes
It was about 5 pm on Wednesday when the calls started to come in to 911. A vehicle that was parked in a Hernando County apartment complex was on fire. But this vehicle wasn’t your average car, it was a marked police vehicle. After a few short minutes, several first responders arrived at the scene, including deputies and firefighters. The fire was extinguished quickly, but that’s when things got a little weird. As the crew of first responders assessed the scene and secured the area, a man walked up to them and admitted to starting the blaze, saying he was sorry and that he’d done that sort of thing before.
According to the report, the fire appeared to have been started around the right rear tire of the cruiser, next to the gas tank. Upon further inspection, investigators say the fire also seemed to have been lit by packing garbage around the wheelwell and then igniting it. Investigators say they were also able to tell that the fire had been started deliberately. Another vehicle, which had been parked nearby was also damaged by the heat and flames.
As the deputies surveyed the scene, a man walked up to them and told them that he had started the blaze, but was now feeling sorry for doing so. The man, identified as 48-year-old Anthony Thomas Tarduno, was arrested on the scene by Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deputies. During questioning, Tarduno told deputies that he was drunk when he lit the vehicle, going on to say that he did “stupid things” when he was drinking. The suspect said he had just left a local bar about 30 minutes prior when he saw the patrol vehicle and decided to light it. After starting the blaze, the man told them he returned to the bar.
After a few minutes in the bar, Tarduno felt badly about igniting the fire and went back to the scene. That’s when he walked up to an officer and admitted to the arson. The suspect said he had pilfered through a dumpster to find some flammable garbage, placed it under the patrol car, and then started the blaze with a lighter he had in his possession. Tarduno told officers that he was a “professional arsonist” and had been arrested on multiple occasions for similar crimes. He went on to say that he did not light the vehicle because it was a police unit and that he would have lit any car that was sitting there. Tarduno was arrested and charged with two counts of arson and placed in the Hernando County Jail, where he remains until his court date. Source: TampaFP.com
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