Two fires early Wednesday morning have been attributed to a suspect who reportedly said he started one blaze in response to a coach who talked about him 18 years ago.
Gregory Lee Leingang, 41, of Bismarck, is charged with two counts of felony arson as well as felony theft charges and misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle and driving under suspension. Court documents say he admitted to setting the fires at the Bismarck Municipal Ballpark maintenance shop and the state parole and probation office.
Police reportedly found Leingang from his prescriptions inside a Ford Ranger taken from a garage at the ballpark and found in Mandan. Various machinery, including a leaf blower and saw, were reportedly missing from the pickup. A gas can from the park also was reported as found at the parole office fire.
Courts documents says Leingang admitted to setting both fires. He told police he returned from stealing the park's pickup and started the shop fire there with a gasoline-soaked bandage because of "a football coach that had talked about him in 1999 about incidents that occurred in his childhood." Police wrote the coach had some affiliation with the shop's construction.
Leingang told police he started the parole office fire "because if he went to prison, people would be giving him stamps." Postage stamps are reportedly used as prison currency.
Sgt. Mark Buschena said damages totaled $50,000 to the maintenance shop and $7,000 to the parole office.
Leingang has an extensive criminal history dating to when he was 18, including multiple theft, forgery and terrorizing charges.