Dispute Leads to West Augusta Fire

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

November 18, 2005
A West Augusta man crashes a truck into his house and sets the vehicle and himself on fire. It all happened on Pickerel Road, right near Westside High. Richmond County investigators say Michael Lee Raper is charged with aggravated assault among several others.

Deputies block off the area where Michael Lee Raper crashed a truck into his home, and his neighbor Erica Bracey saw the whole thing.

“The lady was outside, she was like, come in the house baby, and he didn’t pay her no mind and slammed into the house,” Bracey said.

The dispute was over the title to the truck. He wanted it in his name, his wife refused, so he threatened to burn the house down.

He was not home when police arrived on the scene. As they were talking to Maria Raper, he showed up and smashed into her parked car. Another witness recalls the deputy on the scene fired at Michael Lee Raper’s tire to try and stop him before he could do any more damage.

“I was sitting in my house and heard gunshots, so I drew my pistol and went out back and saw a guy in a truck run into his house and after his wife,” the witness said.

Investigators say before the tires deflated, Raper drove around his street once and then crashed into the front of his house.

“The driver gets out, pours ignitable fluid on the engine, and it sets the vehicle and the man on fire,” said one investigator on the scene.

It was a traumatic experience for his neighbors who watched as he went up in flames. When Raper struck his wife’s parked car, the deputy on the scene was hit. He is okay and was immediately back on the job.

Michael Lee Raper is at Doctors Hospital being treated for his second and third degree burns. His wife is also at a local hospital.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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