Another black eye for the Public Safety sector....
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April 26, 2005
Deputy charged with setting brush fire
State pursues links to 8 blazes
BY J.D. GALLOP
Henry Schook III
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State investigators arrested a Brevard County sheriff's deputy on Monday, charging him with using one of his patrol car flares to set a brush fire.
Deputy Henry Schook III was charged with the intentional or reckless burning of land and illegal possession of an incendiary device. Investigators said he was spotted about 2:45 a.m. along Grissom Parkway near Cocoa in his patrol car, tossing a lit flare into the nearby woods.
Florida Department of Agriculture agents watching the scene through a heat-sensing camera arrested Schook and the fire was extinguished. "We have had him under surveillance for some time and we had both ground and air surveillance during his shift," said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the department of agriculture.
Schook, hired by the sheriff's office in October 2001, was booked at the Brevard County Detention Center. He was released on a cash bond of $5,000, officials said.
Sheriff Jack Parker was notified and suspended Schook with pay. An internal investigation is under way, sheriff's spokesman Andrew Walters said.
State investigators were trying to determine what links Schook had to eight suspicious wildfires reported in the area of State Road 524 and Interstate 95 in Cocoa. The string of fires began in February. Schook was assigned to patrol much of the same area, officials said. At least one of those fires created poor visibility and contributed to several accidents. In prior years, brush fires have destroyed homes and injured firefighters.
Schook, a Long Island, N.Y., native, earns $33,892 a year and is married, officials said. His personnel file shows he worked as an emergency medical technician with Coastal Health in Rockledge from 1998 until he joined the sheriff's office. He also was a volunteer firefighter with West Melbourne.
The charges filed Monday only involve the latest fire, but investigators said other evidence is being analyzed at the State Fire Marshal's laboratory in Tallahassee.
--Edited for spelling error--
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04-27-2005, 05:16 PM #1
BCSO Deputy accused of multiple arson casesAJ, MICP, FireMedic
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04-27-2005, 08:00 PM #2
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