Man arrested after allegedly trying to set cars on fire at Provo dealership

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

PROVO, Utah, Aug. 12, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man has been arrested after he allegedly tried to set cars on fire at a Provo dealership.

A probable cause statement from Utah County said John Taylor Beesley, 43, is facing charges of:

  • Threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

On Aug. 11, the arresting officer responded to 815 S. University Ave. in Provo for a disorderly male at a car dealership “being aggressive and fighting with the employees of the business,” the statement said.

When the officer arrived was man sitting on the ground with other officers. “I asked the male for his name and he told me it was Diablo,” the statement said. “I asked for his real name and he told me Lucifer.”

The manager stated that he saw the male allegedly trying to light two of his cars on fire. The manager approached the man and tried to get him to stop. The suspect then walked aggressively towards the manager; the manager said he had a video of the incident.

“In the video you see the male standing at a vehicle,” the statement said. “The male has the gas tank of the car open and the male is lighting a torch into the gas tank. You hear the manager tell the male to stop many times. The male turns towards the manager and walks towards him aggressively. The way he was talking was aggressive towards the manager, he was hunched over and had an angry look on his face. The manager tells him to stop but the male asks him ‘or what, what are you going to do about it.” The manager says to the male ‘you’re torching my car,’ the male states ‘I am.'”

Beesley was searched and in his shorts pocket the officer found a plastic baggy with a white crystal substance in it, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The suspect was read his Miranda rights and refused to answer questions.

He was transported to Utah County Jail with his bail set at $10,700.

Beesley was charged with threat of terrorism because he: “created a weapon of mass destruction by opening a car gas tank and trying to light it on fire. This is a weapon of mass destruction because if John was successful in his plan to light the car on fire it could have caused wide spread death or serious bodily injury.”


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