Police say Torrington man torched neighbor’s car ‘because he didn’t like Mormons’ – Hartford Courant

A Torrington man torched his neighbor’s car early Monday “because he didn’t like Mormons,” a police spokesman said.

Samuel Vandeusen, 22, of 141 East Pearl St., was arrested on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree arson and second-degree breach of peace.

Vandeusen also was charged with deprivation of rights, defined as subjecting another person “to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities, secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of this state or of the United States, on account of religion,” race, sexual orientation and other identifying characteristics.

Police were called to 139 East Pearl St. at about 3:25 a.m. on a reported fire in a 2022 Chevy Equinox. A witness told police that someone lit a rag on fire and stuffed it into the gasoline fill compartment, Det. Kevin Tieman said. Officers learned at the scene that Vandeusen was responsible, and he confessed to starting the blaze, police said. The car was heavily damaged, Tieman said.

Vandeusen was held in lieu of $250,000 and was to appear in Torrington Superior Court Monday.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at

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