The Daily Beast
Howard County Detention CenterA Maryland police chief retired after decades on the force only to spend much the next 10 years unleashing a series of arson attacks on his perceived enemies, according to a bevy of charges revealed on Wednesday.David Crawford, 69, the former police chief of Laurel, Maryland, is accused of attempted murder and a dozen arsons from 2011 to 2020. He had resigned from the police department in 2010. He is charged with 20 felonies in Prince George’s county alone, according to the The Baltimore Sun—four counts of first-degree attempted murder, four counts of second-degree attempted murder, one count first-degree arson, five counts of second-degree arson, and six counts of malicious burning. But that is not the only jurisdiction where Crawford faces prosecution. He has been charged in Montgomery, Frederick, and Charles counties as well. He faces 32 felony counts in those three counties.In a statement released Wednesday, the Prince George’s County Fire Department said, “Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the structures and vehicles that Crawford intentionally set on fire were connected to victims with whom he had previous disagreements.”Crawford allegedly went after public officials, fellow members of law enforcement, two doctors who formerly treated him, a neighbor in Ellicott City, Maryland, and his own relatives. Prince George’s Fire Department declined to provide further details, and the Prince George’s state’s attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.“All of the fires were at night. In six of the arsons, the victim and their families were inside their homes asleep,” the fire department statement continued. Investigators said Crawford hid his identity from surveillance cameras with hooded sweatshirts.Bizarrely, a LinkedIn account that appears to belong to Crawford paints a decidedly more cheerful picture of the alleged retired-police-chief-turned-arsonist. In the bio, Crawford describes himself as a “people lover” and lists one of his personal mottos as: “Find the positive.”He also recalls important advice from a mentor: “95% of your challenges in law enforcement melt away if you remember to speak to people the way you would want to be spoken to and treat people the way you would want to be treated.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.