Florida Man Sets Fire to Deputy’s Patrol Car – Says He Does Stupid Things When He’s Drunk

Florida man Anthony Tarduno, 48, is in the Hernando County Jail after setting fire to a Hernando County deputy’s patrol vehicle.

On December 7th at approximately 5:00 p.m., the Hernando County 911 center began receiving calls about a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office marked patrol vehicle on fire in an apartment parking lot near Northcliffe Boulevard & Portillo Road in Spring Hill.

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Several Hernando deputies, as well as Hernando Fire Rescue, arrived and put out the blaze.

Upon further inspection, severe fire damage was observed in and around the right rear passenger portion of the vehicle, near the gas tank. Further investigation revealed trash and other items located directly under the gas tank, near the rear passenger wheel. Investigators believed the items were placed there to set the patrol vehicle on fire deliberately.

Another vehicle owned by an apartment resident parked near the patrol vehicle also sustained damage from the fire.

As investigators started their arson investigation, a male named Anthony Thomas Tarduno approached and stated he was responsible for setting the fire. Patrol deputies immediately detained Tarduno for an interview.

During the interview, Tarduno again admitted to starting the fire and told detectives he was “intoxicated” and when he gets “drunk”, he does “stupid things.”

Tarduno stated he’d been drinking at a bar on Northcliffe Boulevard. He left the bar around 4:30 p.m. and noticed the patrol vehicle nearby. He then decided he’d like to set it on fire. Tarduno went to a nearby dumpster and grabbed a bag of garbage, placed it under the patrol vehicle, and set it ablaze. After setting the fire, he went back to the bar.

Tarduno said he “felt bad” and returned to the scene to confess. He was cooperative with the investigation and told investigators he was a “professional arsonist” and has been arrested and convicted for similar offenses.

He also stated he did not target the vehicle because it was a patrol car, and any car that had been parked there would have been set on fire.

Tarduno was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center and charged with two counts of arson and is being held on $30,000 bond.

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