Decades-Old Grudge Leads to Torched Cars at Indiana Dealership

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
decades old grudge leads to torched cars at indiana dealership

We've heard of holding grudges, but what happened at an Indiana car dealership recently has set our minds on fire.

Fort Wayne is where 79-year-old Dewey Frederick was apparently sufficiently fired-up by a 1986 sale that he lit four cars across two car lots owned by the O'Daniel Automotive Group ablaze.

Frederick purchased a Jeep from O'Daniel way back in the heyday of hair metal and claimed it had a bad engine and that the dealer group never rectified the situation. His long-simmering grudge led to $82,800 in damage, with a 2019 Jeep Compass, 2020 Jeep Cherokee, and 2013 GMC Acadia being torched. It all started with a road flare dropped into the Compass's fuel-filler line.

Apparently not content, Frederick drove to the other lot and dropped another road flare into a Pontiac Solstice, cutting the roadster's roof to do so.

Frederick's anger didn't just flare up after years on the back burner -- he apparently super-glued the locks on his Jeep way back in the day.

According to the Washington Post, Frederick was "charged Saturday with four counts of arson and now faces eight to 48 years in prison if convicted of all four felonies."

He also apparently said that "it was time for the chickens to return to roost".

Frederick's own return to the dealership appears to have ended with him getting roasted.

[Image: Mikbiz/]

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5 of 27 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on Aug 01, 2022

    People really don't understand where the problem is. And always burn the wrong guy. Dealer isn't even an employee of the manufacturer who is responsible for a bad design.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 01, 2022

    Noticed that when I tried to add a paragraph to a reply to another post above, the “return” key didn’t work!

    It appears to be OK on a “root” post like this one.

    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Aug 02, 2022

      The site is still pretty hinkey for me. Open TTAC and five seconds later...POOF! It's gone. Attention Corey: HP laptop, Firefox browser (latest update done today, no change in "POOF! It's gone"), Windows 10, latest update in mid-July, no VPN active on this machine.

  • Bobbysirhan Bobbysirhan on Aug 02, 2022

    Considering the rate of employee turnover at a typical car dealer, I doubt the parties responsible for ripping off the arsonist were in any way impacted by the crimes. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but this one was too much, too late. O'Daniel Automotive Group makes no mention of ownership on its websites, suggesting that it is just another hedge-fund-held entity meant to provide the illusion of competition. It would have been much different 36 years ago.

  • Hifi Hifi on Aug 08, 2022

    Isn't one of the main arguments in favor of the dealer franchise by the NADA... customer service? Right.

    This guy held a grudge for decades. To some extent, most of us are.