Schmuck of the Week

Richard Pinales's Arson Bust Easy Because He Took Video of the Fires

Among the factors we consider when naming a Schmuck of the Week winner is how the candidates help make their own problems worse.

Consider Richard Pinales this concept's poster boy.

Pinales was just busted on arson charges after allegedly setting nine fires in a single day.

And denying that he had anything to do with the blazes won't be easy.

After all, he reportedly took video of the burn-baby-burning.

According to KKTV in Colorado Springs, the fires happened on the afternoon of Saturday, April 3, along Highway 96, in the vicinity of Lake Pueblo State Park.

Emergency personnel responded to the first conflagration before 5 p.m., the station notes, after which a slew of additional calls came in about additional flames over a span of about ten miles.

The fires weren't very large, burning just fifteen acres total between all nine of them, and that's lucky. The conditions in the area were dry, meaning that any one of them could have led to big problems.

Meanwhile, a witness told investigators he saw a man pull over to the side of the road in a PT Cruiser and set one of the fires — and the vehicle, with Pinales behind the wheel, was pulled over near the state park's entrance shortly thereafter.

Under questioning from law enforcement, Pinales admitted that he'd eyeballed the fire — and even claimed to have called 911 about it.

Not true, the PCSO maintains. Moreover, the affidavit references videos on his tablet showing the fires from multiple angles and distances.

Sounds like a future director in the making. But before he can start pitching his services to the producers of Chicago Fire, he'll have to deal with the law. He was arrested on suspicion of arson, and he's due to make a court appearance next week.

Hope someone gets it on video.

Here's a larger look at Pinales's mug shot, followed by a KKTV report.

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