Accused Columbia arsonist says ‘now I have some peace’

(Photo: WKRN)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – An accused arsonist says he set his house on fire because he couldn’t stand what was happening inside the home.

Richard Patrick remains in jail in Maury County on charges of aggravated arson.

He was arrested Tuesday night after authorities say he doused his own home in gasoline and threw a lighter inside, giving his brother and another woman inside five minutes to get out.

(Photo: WKRN)

When asked how he feels about it now, he told News 2, “Well, I don’t have to worry about it no more, the place. Now I have some peace.”

Patrick says that for the past few years, his house was full of people he described as “crack heads, thieves, and prostitutes.”

He told News 2 when nobody would help him get rid of the problem, he took matters into his own hands.

Wearing shackles and carrying a Bible, Patrick spoke to Reporter Andy Cordan about the fire he started earlier this week.

“I got fed up with it. Enough is enough. After I come back, I said you have five minute to get what you want out,” he explained.

“It has to stop somewhere. You get tired of it. Enough is enough,” he added.

The 59-year-old said he was scared to live in his own home for years because of the type of people who were coming in and out.

(Photo: WKRN)

“You have a house full of crack smoke. He is in there, a crack pipe, cooking dope, and you can’t breathe in all that. You go to work, come home, and you have a yard full of crack heads, and prostitutes in the house, and you leave home and have property lying on your bed and they go through there and went through your stuff or took your stuff,” Patrick said.

The grandfather-of-eight told News 2 he called Columbia police many times for help.

News 2 checked with multiple sources inside the department who confirm there is no record of a single call for service to the Graham Street address in the past year.

When told that, Patrick drops the Bible he is holding and stands on top of it.

He said, “Drop the word of God on the floor and step on top of it. What I say about them? I don’t have to tell no lies about it. If I am lying on the CPD, I ask God to knock me off with his word right now.”