Friday, May 21, 2010

COLUMBIA LIBERTARIAN LEADER: De Foe-Thomas fears fiery retribution

COLUMBIA, 5/21/10  (Beat Byte) --  Outspoken local Libertarian leader Liz De-Foe Thomas, who has led public protests of controversial law enforcement activities from red light and downtown surveillance cameras to a now-infamous Columbia Police Department SWAT raid, awakened around 2 am yesterday morning to find her fiance's 2001 Jeep Cherokee ablaze in their driveway.  

Parked just feet from their home (left), and too heavily damaged to determine accidental or intentional cause, the Jeep was engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.  The Fire Marshal has ruled the cause "inconclusive."  

The lingering uncertainty has De-Foe Thomas -- who ruled out recalls and defects -- looking over her shoulder. 

Spooked by the first question fire marshals asked fiance David Ursery -- "Do you have any enemies?" -- De-Foe Thomas said she "wants to be careful" about how -- or to whom -- she attributes the blaze.

"If this was a random mechanical failure, I want to know, so I can at least breathe easy," De-Foe Thomas said.  "If there is someone after me or us for our outspokenness on the SWAT issue, or other things we've voiced public opinion on -- I just want to know if my fears are warranted."

De-Foe Thomas said she and Ursery (both, right) -- the Jeep's registered owner -- last drove the vehicle about 5 hours before it went up in smoke.  Neither smokes cigarettes, but the fire apparently started in the cab.  

"A witness who lives on an adjacent street heard several 'bangs,' and saw the initial flames from his bedroom window.  By the time he had his shoes on and was out the door, the fire had engulfed the majority of the cab," De-Foe Thomas told the Heart Beat.  

The suspicious fire has left other experts scratching their heads.  "I've spoken to a couple of mechanics, and even someone from Carfax," De-Foe Thomas (right) explained.  "The overall conclusion -- without physically seeing the car -- is that for such a large fire to occur and build so quickly, and considering the other evidence as well, this was intentional. 

Though she has suspicions otherwise, "random teenage arson is always a possibility," she added.  

1 comment:

  1. were the neighbors told it was a 'just a training exercise'?