Arsonist Who Burned Four Emmett Police Cars Pleads Guilty
BOISE - Darrel Rich, 68, of Emmett, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday to a two-count indictment charging him with damage by fire to vehicles owned by an institution receiving federal funding, and damage by fire to vehicles used in interstate commerce, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.
According to court records, on July 25, 2017, after police had visited the Rich’s residence in Emmett, Rich had telephone communications with his sister wherein he stated that that the police needed to “back off now or somebody is going to get hurt” and that if she “call[ed] the cops on me again. . . we’re done.”
According to court records, on July 26, 2017, at approximately 12:04 a.m., Rich drove his Chevrolet Impala to the Emmett Police Department and parked it on First Street across from the Emmett Police Department unsecured back parking lot. Rich exited the car, opened the trunk and retrieved a gasoline canister, walked to the rear of four police cruisers parked in the back parking lot, and poured gasoline from the canister behind each of them. Rich then lit something on fire, threw it toward the police cruisers, and they ignited. In lighting the police cruisers on fire, Rich acted maliciously and without justification or excuse.
According to court records, the four police cruisers were used in local and interstate police activity, including patrolling interstate streets and transporting out-of-state violators of the law. Also, from 2014 through 2017, the Emmett Police Department received federal financial assistance in the form of subsidies for bulletproof vests.
Sentencing is set for May 7, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Idaho State Police, the Gem County Sheriff’s Office, and the Emmett Police Department.
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