Wisconsin man charged with torching sex offender’s future home
(NBC15.COM) COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. – The Dane County Sheriff’s Office wants to encourage citizens to be on the lookout for two 5-gallon gas cans used in the arson fire in Cottage Grove on Sunday.
Police said video footage shows Russell Speigle carrying the gas cans toward the house, but deputies haven’t been able to find them.
According to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, a $5,000 reward is available to anyone providing crucial information pertaining to this investigation. The state’s arson hotline phone number is:1-800-362-3005.
Update: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — 4:41 pm.
COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. – Dane County’s Sheriff announced today that Russell A. Speigle has been arrested in connection with the arson fire in Cottage Grove on Sunday.
Speigle became a person of interest early in the investigation after detectives visited his residence on King Drive to speak with him. Authorities then learned he had left town shortly after talking to them.
After obtaining a search warrant Monday, Speigle was located at a residence in Muscoda. From there he was transported to UW Hospital in Madison to be examined in the Burn Unit. There it was determined he should be admitted for additional treatment.
He was released Tuesday and booked into the Dane County Jail on charges of arson.
The fire, which was the second at the home since December, caused about $90,000 in damages.
Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 — 6:00 pm
Police responded to a house fire in Cottage Grove on Sunday night and are now investigating it as an arson case.
It’s the second time in less than three months the house had been set on fire.
“There was a fire at the same residence back in December on December 8th that our investigators did determine to be an arson,” said Dane County PIO Elise Schaffer.
According to records, Howard Nyberg, a 40-year-old registered sex offender, was set to move into the house located on Gaston Circle.
Nyberg was found guilty of 2nd degree sexual assault of a child back in 1994.
The house is located in the central area of Gaston Circle. Neighbors around the area say they are shocked to see a second arson case, even with the given circumstances.
“I’m kinda shocked that this would happen here. I understand that people don’t want someone to move in with that background but vigilantism isn’t good either,” said Jeff Utter, an 11th year resident at Cottage Grove.
But some neighbors have another view. They’re working to pass an ordinance that prevents the town from renting or selling homes to sex offenders. They say they’ve been handing out flyers because they are worried about their property values and the children in the neighborhood.
Dane County Sheriff’s detectives are still investigating the scene. In the meanwhile, neighbors are re-evaluating.
“There’s a lot of kids and grand kids in the neighborhood,” said Utter. “I don’t know if there’s a better way to evaluate where you put these people where the ratio of children is less.”
The first fire resulted in around $90,000 in damage. Repairs were made and Nyberg was getting ready to move in soon. Now the sheriff’s office says the home is considered a total loss.