Accusations: Man’s destructive visit in stolen fire engine nearly floods New Prague

A Belle Plaine man has been charged with leaving a trail of destruction in Scott County, which included the theft of a fire engine and culminated in his breaking into a New Prague utility building and start turning dials.

Charges against Dwayne Roach, 59, say he drove in a stolen fire engine to the New Prague utility building, where he entered and “drove towards a set of orders”.

He turned those controls “all the way up”, then went to another set, which he turned up all the way up.

“This could have caused the New Prague water tower to overflow,” the complaint reads, and triggered an alarm that alerted city workers.

This development only came to light after police arrested Roach for a series of other destructive behaviors on Wednesday, May 4.

These include:

  • Burning down a barn in Cedar Lake Township.
  • Drive a tractor he found in the barn into a house on the same property, smashing a fish house in the process.
  • Set fire to this house too.
  • Fleeing from the police while wearing a side-by-side New Prague Fire Department jacket, knocking over a birdhouse as he rushed to another barn.
  • Resisting arrest when officers attempted to arrest him.

Police found the Ford Excursion of the new Prague Fire Department at the same properties where the fires occurred. While in custody, Roach allegedly said, unsolicited, “Yes, I stole that truck.”

Police also found a small bag of methamphetamine on Roach’s person.

He faces a series of charges, including first- and second-degree arson, two counts of burglary, property damage, vehicle theft and drug possession.

Berta D. Wells