By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Glencoe man accused of setting his own truck on fire, which allegedly caused damage to a Yale service station, has been ordered to appear in court with an attorney on May 19.
If convicted of third-degree arson, Russell Dean Mitchell Jr., who was arrested last week and released on $10,000 bail, could be given as much as a 15-year prison term and a $10,000 fine, court records show.
Yale Deputy Police Chief Ken Moore wrote in an affidavit that there was an explosion with a fire at the Maverick Mini Mart at 102 E. Chicago in Yale at 11:25 am on March 31.
“Video shows Russell Dean Mitchell Jr. throwing a burning object at his truck and on the fourth throw, the burning object went inside the open window of the driver’s back door on his truck — causing an explosion and fire,” the affidavit alleged.
The service station’s awning, gas pump and Phillips 66 lighted sign were damaged, as well as business lost, when Mitchell set his truck on fire, the affidavit alleged.
After Mitchell pulled into the Yale service station, he “parked next to a gas pump, stayed in his vehicle on phones for 11 minutes, got out of his truck,” at about 11:22 am and paid for gas with a credit card for $16.23, the affidavit alleged.
At about 11:25 am, “a burning object is seen thrown from where Mr. Mitchell is (between the pump and his truck) hitting the driver’s front door window, then landing on the ground (1st time). Mr. Mitchell runs between the fuel pump and a diesel pump — knocking the pump handle out of its resting place and Mr. Mitchell trips a little.
“Mr. Mitchell then picks the burning object up and throws it back toward the truck. It hits just behind the open window in the driver’s side rear door and the burning object falls again (2nd time).
“Mr. Mitchell then picks the burning object up and throws it toward his truck again. It goes over the cab of the truck, hits the hood and falls to the ground (3rd time).
“Mr. Mitchell then picks the burning object up and throws it again. This time it goes into the open window of the driver’s rear door — and the truck explodes and started burning (4th time).
“Based on my training and experience, there was an accelerant in the cab of the truck for it to explode and catch fire instantly. Each time, Mr. Mitchell is seen throwing this burning object, he either runs or turns to protect himself,” the Yale deputy police chief alleged in his affidavit.
According to court records, two years ago Mitchell pleaded guilty to hitting a man on the head in 2015, a misdemeanor charge for which he was given a $300 fine and an order to pay $50 to the victims’ compensation fund.