FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – He bought a Jeep from O’Daniel back in 1986 which had a bad motor and the dealership refused to make things right.
That was Dewey R. Fredrick’s story, at least, when he spoke to Fort Wayne Police investigators.
And that’s why the 79-year-old used road flares to torch three Jeeps at one O’Daniel lot and a Pontiac convertible at another, causing nearly $75,000 worth of damage over the course of the early morning hours of July 17, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.
Fredrick is facing four preliminary counts of Level 4 felony arson after being arrested Friday.
“‘It was time for the chickens to return to roost,'” Fredrick said in a recorded interview with police, according to court documents.
Surveillance cameras picked up Fredrick driving a 2002 white Chevrolet S10 four-door pickup truck to one O’Daniel lot at about 1:15 a.m. on July 17. Once there, Fredrick walked around a 2019 Jeep Compass on the lot, stopped at the passenger side and opened the fuel door, according to court documents.
He then placed the burning end of a road flare into the fuel tube, court documents said.
Several moments later, the Jeep Compass was engulfed in flames. The fire became so intense it ignited a 2013 GMC Acadia and a 2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited parked on each side of the Compass, court documents said.
All vehicles were a total loss.
Fredrick then drove to a different O’Daniel lot where he took a knife and cut an opening in the roof of a 2008 Pontiac Solstice Base convertible, according to court documents. He dropped a ignited road flare into that vehicle, which caused a fire that totaled that vehicle, as well.
Upon his arrest, Fredrick told investigators he was upset he did not get to see the fires happen. When they showed him surveillance video, he identified himself as the one in the white pickup truck and, when he saw the Jeep on fire, stated in court documents:
“Oh, that (expletive) was cooking, wasn’t it?”
When shown the damage to the convertible, he said in court documents: “That’s all the damage it did?”
“(Fredrick) then laughed when told they were not happy about that fire, either,” an investigator wrote in court documents.
“(Fredrick) also stated that shortly after he purchased the Jeep in 1986 he went to an O’Daniel lot and placed Loctite, Super Glue and another accelerant in the door locks of several cars on the lot,” court documents said.
Fredrick was released on his own recognizance, but is being monitored by Allen County court officials. He’s due back in court later this week.