1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    sconfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Summerville, SC

    Default Deputy is accused of setting fire

    Deputy is accused of setting fire
    Brevard cop under surveillance after reports of suspicious blazes

    By Laurin Sellers
    Sentinel Staff Writer

    April 26, 2005

    COCOA -- A Brevard County deputy sheriff patrolling west of Cocoa early Monday pulled a department-issued flare from the trunk of his cruiser and used it to set a wildfire, authorities said.

    Investigators suspect it was at least the 10th time since January that Deputy Henry F. Schook III intentionally started a blaze while on duty in rural Brevard.

    This time, they were watching.

    Schook, 27, who was arrested about 2:30 a.m. on charges of intentional or reckless burning of land and illegal possession of an incendiary device, had been under surveillance for nearly two months, said Lt. Glenn Kramer of the Florida Department of Agriculture's law-enforcement office.

    He was immediately suspended with pay, booked into the Brevard County Jail and later released on $5,000 bond.

    The Sheriff's Office also is conducting an internal investigation.

    "It's disappointing that it's a law-enforcement officer; that's for sure," said Lt. Col. Lou Leinhauser, an Agriculture Department spokesman.

    Schook, who could not be reached for comment Monday, was hired in 2001 and has worked as a road-patrol deputy out of the west precinct for two years.

    His father, Henry F. Schook Jr., said Monday that his son wouldn't comment on the charges on the advice of his attorney. The father called the charges "ridiculous."

    "I'm afraid of saying anything more," he said.

    The state began investigating Schook after the Division of Forestry reported that several suspicious brush fires had occurred in the Townsend Road area northwest of Cocoa in early February.

    Although the charges stem from a single fire, investigators said evidence links Schook to more than 10 other blazes and several vehicle fires.

    "There was forensic evidence, including flares and residue, left at the other fires," Kramer said. That evidence is being analyzed at the State Fire Marshal's lab in Tallahassee.

    "Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we'll have additional charges," he said.

    Kramer also noted that Schook had been on duty in the area when all the fires were set.

    No one was injured and no homes were burned, he said, adding he did not have an estimate of the acreage burned.

    Agents with the Sheriff's Office and the Department of Agriculture were watching from the ground and the air when the last fire was set off Grissom Parkway south of Camp Road. It was quickly extinguished, and the scorched flare was recovered.

    Schook immediately invoked his rights and was not interviewed by investigators.

    He asked to be taken back to the west precinct, where he was arrested, Kramer said.

    "To have one of our own do something like this sheds negative light on the whole department," sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Walters said. "I can't imagine a motive."

    Walters said Schook's personnel file contains several commendations and only one complaint from a citizen that turned out to be unfounded.

    "He was not a stellar employee but always met standards on his evaluations," Walters said. "There's certainly nothing that would indicate he would be out there setting fires."
    Always remember the CHARLESTON 9

    Captain Grant Mishoe, Curator of History
    North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum
    "You'll never know where you're going until you remember where you came from"

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Northwest Ohio


    Uh Ohhhhhhhhh........ Don't let George see this.....
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register