Cloquet Police seek public's help in finding arsonist
State patrol looks for suspects in squad car arson Duluth News Tribune Published Friday, October 26, 2007 Minnesota State Patrol troopers take an oath to go into harm's way in the service of others. But family members don't. "Our families don't t...
State patrol looks for suspects in squad car arson
Duluth News Tribune
Published Friday, October 26, 2007
Minnesota State Patrol troopers take an oath to go into harm's way in the service of others. But family members don't.
"Our families don't take that oath, nor should they have to suffer because of the chosen profession of their husband or wife," State Patrol Capt. Kent Matthews said a news conference in Duluth this morning.
Matthews was asking for the public's help in finding those responsible for torching a State Patrol cruiser at a trooper's Cloquet home early Thursday.
Earlier: State patrol squad car set on fire in Cloquet
The fire destroyed the car, damaged the family's personal pickup truck and the asphalt driveway. The trooper was at home with his wife and their children when the arson happened. The state patrol declined to release the name and address of the trooper, citing safety concerns.
Matthews noted that property can be replaced.
"But what are you going to do about the emotional pain inflicted on this family," he said. "This is traumatic thing for this family. This is a pretty personal attack."
The International Association of Fire Investigators is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading of the arrest of the person or people responsible.
A neighbor reported the fire around 3 a.m. Thursday, apparently after a barking dog woke him. Cloquet Fire Department Captain and Fire Investigator Gordy Meagher said that appears an accelerant was used to set the blaze, and that the fire was set at two locations on the car. Evidence from the scene is being sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for laboratory analysis.
The fire destroyed the squad car and its contents, worth $45,000. The squad was parked 20 feet from the home's porch, Meagher said.
The proximity to an occupied home will likely be taken into account if anyone is charged for the arson.
Matthews said such arson attacks against officers are rare. In this case, officials don't know if the trooper was targeted by the arsonist or if the attack was a random one against law enforcement.
People with information on the arson are asked to call the Cloquet Police Department investigations unit at (218) 879-1247 or the Minnesota State Patrol at (218) 723-4885.