Waukesha man accused of firing shots, starting van fire
Richard D. Hitchcock allegedly stated he drank after wife ‘cheated on him’
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 51-year-old Waukesha man, accused of firing shots and trying to set on a van on fire the evening of July 20 in Pelican Lake, has been charged in Oneida County Circuit Court with a misdemeanor count of possessing a firearm while intoxicated.
Richard D. Hitchcock made his initial court appearance July 27 on the charge. Hitchcock, whose signature bond was set at $2,500 with the conditions he not consume intoxicants, stay out of taverns and not possess firearms, is scheduled back in court Aug. 21 for his adjourned initial appearance.
According to court records, a friend of Hitchcock reported a vehicle fire across from his residence on Hwy. 45 along with hearing three gunshots and that Hitchcock was suicidal.
When officers arrived at the scene, they approached Hitchcock’s white van and found a rag with what appeared to be the gas cap next to the driver’s side, but didn’t see Hitchcock. Officers left the area after discovering a long gun case and a handgun case in the van, which had burn marks on the exterior of the vehicle.
After the county’s special response team officers arrived on the scene, Hitchcock was seen walking towards them and then taken into custody, while a rifle was located near the van in the bushes with a magazine in it.
While being taken in a squad car to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander, Hitchcock allegedly stated he planned on blowing up the van. Court records allege he further stated he picked up a six-pack of beer, noting he had been sober for 20 years and decided to have a drink after finding out his wife had “cheated on him.”
After having begun drinking and then setting the van on fire, court records further allege Hitchcock stated he saw his friend coming to the burning van as he was in the bushes and “decided to shoot off a couple of rounds” to get his friend to head back toward his house. After his friend left, Hitchcock allegedly began walking into the woods carrying a gas container with him.
After being taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, Hitchcock submitted to a PBT test that indicated .126 and then was placed under arrest for being armed while intoxicated and arson, according to court records.