CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man angry with his former foster mother will spend time in state prison for setting fire to her garage.
State Police say Michael George Bickle, 23, set fire to a garage/shed at a Decatur Township residence on July 28. The building was a complete loss.
It was discovered that an ATV was missing from the garage and another ATV was also gone.
Bickle was listed as a suspect because of his previous history with the family, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
In Sept. police spoke with a witness who admitted he had dropped Bickle off at the residence that night.
He stated that Bickle’s intention was to steal his former foster dad’s ATV. Bickle returned later on a green four-wheeler that he hid in the woods.
Bickle told the witness he was going to get “revenge on his foster mother for sending him to prison” and added that he would find his own way back to Clearfield. The witness then left that area.
The next day when this witness spoke with Bickle, he explained he had set the shed on fire using a gas container he found in there.
After dumping gas all through the building, Bickle admitted to the witness he rolled up a dollar bill, lit it on fire and threw it in the shed. He then drove off on the second four-wheeler.
During colloquy court on Monday, when asked by Judge Paul Cherry if he would apologize to the victims for risking their lives, Bickle stated that he is not the same person now.
“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” he explained adding that he committed the crimes because he needed money for drugs.
Bickle pleaded guilty to felony arson and misdemeanor retaliation and Cherry sentenced him to three to six years in state prison.
In a second case he pleaded guilty to felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and criminal trespass for which he received five years consecutive probation.
Bickle was ordered to pay over $21,000 in restitution.