SYCAMORE - A Kirkland man is facing charging after he was arrested recently for a June incident during which police say he set a vehicle on fire by exploding fireworks inside it and then lied to police about it.
David A. Richardson, 49, of the 32000 block of Main Street in Fairdale, is charged with arson, obstructing justice and obstructing a peace officer. If convicted of the most serious crime, arson, a Class 2 felony, Richardson could face up to 14 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.
According to DeKalb County court records, a warrant for Richardson’s arrest was issued Aug. 30 in relation to the incident police say happened shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 28. He was arrested and appeared before DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick Sept. 3 for a bond hearing. Buick issued a $10,000 bond for the charges. Richardson would need to post 10% of that, or $1,000 to be released from jail.
The charges stem from an incident during which the Kirkland Fire Department and DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a car on fire in the 600 block of Route 72 in Fairdale, records show.
The car, a 2005 silver Chrysler Pacifica, which belonged to a Belvidere man, records state, was set ablaze after fireworks went off inside it. The vehicle was parked in an empty lot and appeared abandoned, according to sheriff’s deputies who were first to arrive at the scene.
Firefighters from the Kirkland Fire Department reported seeing fireworks exploding inside the car, and during investigations of the incident later that day, police spoke with the man who lives across the street from the empty lot, later identified as Richardson.
According to police reports, Richardson told the deputies he mows the lot for the lot’s owner, and had previously reported the Chrysler as abandoned in the lot. He also reportedly told sheriff’s deputies he was asleep at the time of the fire, and didn’t have any further information regarding the incident.
The son of the Chrysler’s registered owner told deputies that the car broke down about a year prior, and he hauled the vehicle to Richardson’s house. The man told deputies that Richardson was trying to fix the vehicle and that it stayed there “for months and months,” according to police reports.
The man showed deputies text messages allegedly from Richardson stating that they needed to talk about the car and “come up with a plan,” and needed help moving the Chrysler.
In a followup interview with deputies, Richardson told police he didn’t know the car owner or the owner’s family and denied that the vehicle was even on his property, records state.
Sheriff’s deputies then went through Richardson’s cell phone with a search warrant and uncovered records that show Richardson had made several phone calls to the car owner’s home, according to court records.
A Kirkland firefighter, who was one of the first on the scene to the car on fire, told deputies the he had personally heard Richardson say he was the one who “torched it,” records state.
Richardson is next set to appear for a status hearing the charges at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 23 in front of a DeKalb County judge.