Ex Police Chief Resorts to Arson to Settle Grudges

Ex Maryland police chief, David M. Crawford, becomes serial arsonist to settle grudges
David M. Crawford

Ex Maryland Police Chief Charged with Attempted Murder

(MD) – David M. Crawford was the police chief over the Laurel Police Department. In 2010, he was asked to resign. None of the articles on this story have said why the request was made. What we now know is that Crawford bore a deep resentment over it and in 2011 began setting the homes of people on his hit list, on fire. The fires were set in the early hours of the morning, around 3:00 a.m., when people were inside asleep Fortunately, everyone targeted was able to escape their burning homes without injuries.

The first fire Crawford started was at the home of a Howard County administrator that Crawford didn’t get along with. According to NPR.com,

“That initial arson in May of 2011 came months after Crawford was asked to resign from his job as chief of police in Laurel, according to court documents. The victim in that attack, the records state, was Martin Flemion, who was then the deputy city administrator. The documents add that Crawford and Flemion “did not have a good working relationship” during Crawford’s tenure leading the police department.”

It appears Crawford originally targeted people he held grudges against from his job with the police department, but he quickly branched out into targeting anyone he had problems with and became a serial arsonist. The last fire officials believe he set was in November of 2020. Crawford was arrested on March 3.

Majority of Fires were in Howard County and Montgomery County

Crawford started fires in five different counties over almost 10 years. That made it hard for law enforcement to find him. It wasn’t until one agency released video of him starting a fire that arson investigators from other jurisdictions saw similarities to videos they had.

Crawford is accused of starting five fires in Howard County, three in Montgomery County, two in Prince George’s County, and one each in Frederick County and Charles County. All of the fires targeted people on a hit list that police found on his phone. That list included “a former City of Laurel official, three former law enforcement officials, two relatives, two of Crawford’s former physicians and a resident in his neighborhood. One of the victims was his stepson.”

In perhaps the saddest aspect of this story, David Crawford attempted to kill his stepson three different times by setting his house on fire, because he didn’t get along with him.

Attempted Murder and Arson Charges Filed Against Crawford

Each jurisdiction will file its own charges, but so far, according to the BaltimoreSun.com,

“In Howard County, he is charged with more than 24 felonies, including eight counts of first-degree attempted murder, eight counts of second-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree malicious burning, two counts of first-degree arson, two counts of second-degree arson, one count of second-degree malicious burning and various malicious destruction charges.

In Frederick County, Crawford is charged with one count of first-degree arson, one count of second-degree arson and one count of first-degree malicious burning.”

More charges will come from the other counties and it’s possible more fires that can be attributed to Crawford, may be discovered which will also bring more charges. Crawford is currently being held without bond.

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