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Man burned home of New York state trooper's father for revenge after getting traffic ticket, DA says

Man accused of burning home of N.Y. trooper's father after getting traffic ticket
Man accused of burning home of N.Y. trooper's father after getting traffic ticket 01:51

WARWICK, N.Y. -- A man allegedly set fire to the home of a New York state trooper's father in an act of revenge after he got a traffic ticket from the officer, according to investigators. 

Tyler Williams, 26, was charged with arson after police said he intentionally set the fire in Warwick, New York in December 2023. 

"It's incomprehensible to think that we would be targeted, and our families and our homes would be targeted," said Warwick Police Chief John Rader.  

Fire happened hours after trooper issued ticket

The fire happened hours after the trooper ticketed Williams, according to the Orange County district attorney. 

"He researched the trooper's name, found an address in Warwick and went to that house to intentionally start the fire," said Rader.

The trooper's father and other relatives escaped without injury, but workers are still repairing the damage almost five months later.  

There was relief in the Warwick community after police arrested Williams, but disbelief over the allegations. 

"My son-in-law is NYPD and they are concerned. Police officers are often concerned about people trying to take revenge, but doing it against his father, that is really the lowest of low," said Allen Clarkson. 

Investigators tracked suspect's online activity

Investigators obtained multiple search warrants, many for computer and smartphone records, before charging Williams with arson. 

"You're walking around leaving a digital footprint when you carry a cellphone. When you go online, if you access your computer, you are leaving that same, so to speak, 'electronic fingerprint,'" said Phil Grimaldi, host of the "Police off the Cuff" podcast.

The president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association released the following statement Thursday:

"The New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association is outraged by the alleged revenge arson to our Trooper's father's home in Warwick over a traffic ticket issued by the Trooper.

"New York State Troopers encounter danger every day they put on their uniform to serve and protect the public. Every call for help is unpredictable and no day is ever 'routine.' After selflessly risking their own safety to help others, our members should not have to worry about being hunted down by disgruntled individuals, nor should society stand for such reprehensible acts. Harming or targeting New York State Troopers and their families is never acceptable.  

"We are extremely thankful for the multitude of public safety officers who responded to this incident and thoroughly investigated the crime that led to felony arson charges in this troubling case.

"As the union representing New York State Troopers, we will continue to support our dedicated Trooper – who continues to bravely help others - and his family during this difficult time." 

Williams made a brief court appearance Wednesday and was ordered held without bail. CBS New York contacted his lawyer and girlfriend for comment, but did not hear back. 

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