Ex-police chief charged with attempted murder after allegedly setting several fires

David M. Crawford, a former police chief in Laurel, Maryland, is being accused of setting fires to the homes of individuals he had discrepancies with

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A former police officer is facing charges for arson.

David M. Crawford, a former police chief in Laurel, Maryland, is being accused of setting fires to the homes of individuals he had discrepancies with. He is facing attempted murder charges, per NBC News.

David M. Crawford thegrio.com
(Credit: Prince George’s County Fire and EMS)

The fires Crawford is being accused of setting took place between 2011 to 2020. According to the report, investigators were able to pinpoint the former cop due to the connection between the victims. The suspect last worked for the police department in 2010. The mayor announced his departure in October of that year for “personal reasons.”

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Mayor Craig A. Moe has announced the receipt and acceptance of his intent to retire from Laurel Police Chief David M. Crawford, effective December 1, 2010,” read the press release.  “Mayor Moe stated Chief Crawford’s intent to retire is for personal reasons, which Mayor Moe said he understood and respected.  Chief Crawford will be on Administrative Leave through the month of November.”

It continued to praise the former officer.

“Mayor Moe applauded the Police Department’s many accomplishments during Chief Crawford’s five years of service, most notably the smooth transition from an outmoded police facility to a state-of-the-art modern police station that is anticipated to accommodate the Laurel Police Department for the next 20 years,” the release read.

“Other highlights include Chief Crawford’s five-year guidance of the Department in a remarkable effort that resulted in the reduction of crime in the City of Laurel; his integration of the increase in staffing levels and other resources authorized by the City Council into a growing Department; and the maintenance and enhancement of the high standards required to continue the Department’s accreditation.” 

The first fire took place in May 28, 2011 and a suspect was caught on camera pouring gasoline on a city official’s work and personal vehicles before setting the personal car on fire.

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“While the suspect was setting the victim’s personal vehicle on fire, the suspect’s clothing caught fire. The suspect is then seen on video fleeing the scene,” the department stated.

Crawford allegedly set fire to one home three times. The family which included a juvenile was able to escape the  Ellicott City home on Dec. 9, 2017, located on Spring Meadow Drive, but the suspect struck again.

As contractors were working on the home in August 2018, they discovered fire damages to the front lawn. According to the fire department, they were contacted a month later about another fire at the home.

“The home was unoccupied as renovations had just been completed from the previous fire,” said authorities. “Investigators determined the fire originated along the front of the house to include the garage and spread to the majority of the rest of the house.”

“There were clear signs the residents were inside the homes at the time Crawford set fire to the structures.”

The victims were allegedly home at the time but asleep resulting in the attempted murder charge.

Crawford was arrested on Wednesday.

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