MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 51-year-old man has been charged after setting fire to his wife’s government-issued vehicle last Friday in Park Rapids.
According to the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a call at about 11:04 a.m. of a car fire in the 12000 block of 152nd Street. The reporting party said that a man in the drive way of the residence, stated he was “just burning his wife’s Homeland Security vehicle.” Upon arrival, officers found a 2017 Chevrolet Equinox fully engulfed in flames.
Authorities identified the homeowner as Robert Derrick Ecker. Officers later found out that the burned vehicle was owned by the Department of Public Safety — where his wife works through the Department of Homeland Security.
While ambulance staff were treating Ecker, Officer Ben Lund overheard Ecker state that he had “consumed four large whiskies.” Ecker was transported to the hospital for medical assistance.
While Lund was transporting Ecker to the hospital, he allegedly stated a number of incriminating statements.
Lund reported that Ecker said the following: “I didn’t do it because I was drunk. I did it with conscious intent,” “I just don’t care Officer Ben,” “I did it deliberately this time,” “Sometimes you have to do big things to get important people’s attention,” “I am sad it took me four drinks and f—king five years to do it,” “Know what you are doing when you do it and I did,” “I burned my wife’s work car because I love her, how f—ked is that?”
Ecker stated he’d never been arrested before, but “this was something worth being in handcuffs,” according to a report from Lund.
Deputies took Ecker into custody on suspicion of arson and was transported to the Hubbard County Jail.
Ecker has been charged Monday with second-degree arson and could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.