Indiana man torches cars in decades-old revenge, investigator says


Dewey Fredrick purchased a lemon of a Jeep again in 1986, and for additional than three a long time, it was his torment, in accordance to court docket documents.

5 presidential administrations came and went in the 36 a long time considering the fact that Fredrick ordered that Jeep from a automobile seller in Fort Wayne, Ind. Wars broke out in Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine. New systems sprang into common use: the online, social media, smartphones. With the addition of air baggage, satellite spot services and backup cameras, autos got smarter, too.

By means of it all, Fredrick’s grudge endured, according to an affidavit for the 79-calendar year-old’s modern arrest.

This month, he decided to get his revenge, the affidavit said. Early 1 early morning, Fredrick allegedly torched 4 autos on two automobile loads affiliated with the seller that marketed him the Jeep. He was charged Saturday with four counts of arson and now faces 8 to 48 years in prison if convicted of all four felonies.

Neither Fredrick nor the law firm who represented him at a bond hearing Monday right away responded to requests for remark from The Washington Publish late Tuesday.

Around 1:15 a.m. on July 17, Fredrick drove his 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup to the O’Daniel utilized automobile dealership, according to Scott Alday, an arson investigator with the Fort Wayne Fire Department who wrote the affidavit for Fredrick’s arrest. Fredrick allegedly opened the fuel door of a Jeep Compass SUV sitting down on the whole lot and stuffed the burning close of a street flare into the fuel line.

“Several times later on the 2019 Jeep Compass was engulfed in flames,” Alday explained in the affidavit.

The hearth grew, spreading to a 2013 GMC Acadia and a 2020 Jeep Cherokee parked on either side of the Compass, according to Alday. In all, there was just about $72,000 in damage to the 3 autos.

He wasn’t accomplished, the affidavit mentioned. Fredrick then drove to O’Daniel Mazda, where by he allegedly made use of a knife to slice open up the roof of a 2008 Pontiac Solstice convertible. Fredrick lit an additional flare and pushed it as a result of the opening he’d built, Alday said. It dropped on to and ignited the driver’s seat, creating $12,823 in damage, according to the affidavit.

A digital camera captured Fredrick at the initial car whole lot, Alday said. When the arson investigator interviewed Fredrick, he confessed to commencing the fires, outlining that he did so for the reason that O’Daniel had marketed him a Jeep with a negative motor in 1986 and then “refused to make it ideal,” the affidavit states. He allegedly retaliated at the time by placing Tremendous Glue in the doorway locks of several autos on an O’Daniel lot.

Thirty-6 decades later on, Fredrick made the decision the car or truck dealer’s punishment necessary to be extra serious, in accordance to the affidavit.

“It was time for the chickens to return to roost,” he explained to the arson investigator.

During the job interview with Alday, Fredrick was upset he did not get to see the fireplace he’d started, the affidavit stated. When Alday showed him a online video of the blaze, Fredrick allegedly recognized himself and his pickup truck in the online video right before stating, “Oh, that [sucker] was cooking was not it?”

Alday told him the individuals at O’Daniel weren’t delighted about either fireplace.

The arson investigator noted Fredrick’s reaction — laughter.