Emmett man pleads guilty to torching police cars

Posted at 4:09 PM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 18:10:51-05

BOISE — Darrel Rich, 68, of Emmett, pleaded guilty Monday to a two-count indictment charging him in connection with a purposely-set fire that damaged four Emmett Police Department patrol cars.

According to court records, on July 25, 2017, after police had visited the Rich’s home in Emmett in an undisclosed matter, Rich telephoned his sister, telling her the police needed to “back off now or somebody is going to get hurt” and that if she “call[ed] the cops on me again … we’re done.”

Reports say, shortly after midnight on July 26, 2017, Rich drove his Chevrolet Impala to the Emmett Police Department and parked it on First Street, across from the Emmett Police Department’s unsecured back parking lot.

Rich retrieved a gasoline canister from the trunk, walked to the rear of four police cruisers parked in the back parking lot, and poured gasoline from the canister behind each of them, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise.

“Rich then lit something on fire, threw it toward the police cruisers, and they ignited. In lighting the police cruisers on fire, Rich acted maliciously and without justification or excuse,” the release said.

Sentencing is set for May 7, before U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Idaho State Police, the Gem County Sheriff’s Office, and the Emmett Police Department.