Seeking Revenge, Homeless Man Sets Fire To Wrong Iowa City Car

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Police said a homeless man admitting to starting a car on fire to get revenge on a drug dealer.

But, Iowa City police said the man set fire to the wrong car.

According to police, 57-year-old Jerry W. Titus started a car on fire on June 23, thinking it belonged to a drug dealer who had allegedly wronged him. The criminal complaint does not name the alleged drug dealer, but said the car belonged to someone else.

Police said the victim had a recorded conversation with Titus, during which he admitted he had started the fire to get back at the drug dealer who “cheated him during a drug sale.” Titus said during the interview he believed the car belonged to the dealer.

The victim also took a photo of Titus with her phone, which police were able to use to identify him.

Titus was arrested and faces one count of second-degree arson, a class C felony. Titus remains in custody at the Muscatine County Jail, according to online records.
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