Arrest in Fredenburg Township after barn and shed destroyed in fire

At 11:30 pm Friday night, St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies took Daniel Svercl into custody following a Thanksgiving Day fire.

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Svercl’s family, friends, and neighbors have reported concerns about his declining mental health for over a month. He refused offers of help or other services and had not committed any crimes that could warrant being taken into custody.

On Thanksgiving Day, a fire was reported at Svercl’s property on the 5500 block of Taft Road in Fredenberg Township. Svercl later admitted to family and friends that he set fire to the barn and shed on his property. During the fire, he was believed to be firing a firearm outside his property in a negligent manner. Fire personnel were not allowed into the scene due to the dangerous behavior. Both buildings were destroyed in the fire.

Svercl’s vehicle was seen driving a few miles from his home later that afternoon. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office stated that deputies tried to stop the vehicle and the driver, believed to be Svercl, fled at high speeds until he pulled into his driveway on Taft Road. Deputies did not confront Svercl any further at that time.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team was utilized due to the risk involved in taking Svercl into custody. During execution of a search warrant, deputies were able to take Svercl into custody shortly before midnight Friday night. Svercl cooperated with deputies.

There were no injuries to anyone involved, including from the fire.

Several crimes are being investigated at this time. Upon being placed in custody, Svercl was brought to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. If/when he is released from the hospital, Svercl will be formally booked at the county jail.

“The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank Svercl’s family and friends for their cooperation and patience with this potentially volatile situation,” a press release stated.