Police in Fayetteville are investigating the apparent arson of a truck owned by Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen after the vehicle was one of three found in the area burned early Monday morning.
A report from 5NewsOnline.com indicated Allen's vehicle, a Chevy Avalanche given to him by his father, was found burning near 4 a.m. ET when the alarm sounded and woke up the Razorbacks signal-caller. He phoned police and the Fayetteville fire department, who put out the blaze.
The arsonists allegedly allowed the vehicle to roll into the ditch as it burned. There have been no suspects named, nor have any injuries related to the crimes been reported. Allen was at home and was unharmed, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema confirmed to KFSM-TV's Chris Breece:
Bielema on Brandon Allen car fire: don't know details. BA is safe. Working through officials on how to handle situation and details.— Chris Breece (@5NEWSChris) August 25, 2014
Allen is not expected to publicly comment on the situation. Bielema said he will not be addressing the matter after Monday nor giving any more details about the case as police continue their investigation.
Sgt. Craig Stout told The Associated Press (via ESPN.com) that Allen's vehicle was set on fire about two hours after a prior reported incident. It is unclear whether the arsons were tied to his status on the football team. Stout did not say whether the initial fire was to someone's vehicle tied to the program.
Katelynn Zoellner of 5 News shared some images from the scene and the truck:
This is Brandon Allen's driveway. As you can see, there's still some burn marks from where his truck caught fire. pic.twitter.com/7pKh6MIlLQ— Katelynn Zoellner (@5NEWSKatelynn) August 25, 2014
Authorities say this is Arkansas Quarterback Brandon Allen's Chevy Avalanche that was burnt early this morning. pic.twitter.com/W19zb6ZGiu— Katelynn Zoellner (@5NEWSKatelynn) August 25, 2014
This is a look at the interior of Arkansas Quarterback Brandon Allen's truck. As you can see, there's not much left. pic.twitter.com/1Lep91p2ko— Katelynn Zoellner (@5NEWSKatelynn) August 25, 2014
Allen, who was named Arkansas' starter early in camp, threw for 1,552 yards and 13 touchdowns against 10 interceptions as a sophomore. He will be backed up by his brother Austin Allen, who is heading into his redshirt freshman season.
A marked improvement from Brandon Allen will be needed for the Razorbacks to contend in 2014. The Razorbacks suffered through a 3-9 season in 2013, including an 0-8 mark in the SEC. Last season was Bielema's first in Fayetteville after making the surprising decision to leave Wisconsin after three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances.
“I’ve been here when we’ve had bad years, obviously,” Allen told Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News. “But myself, I’ve never really been part of a losing season like that. That was definitely something I don’t want to go through again.”
The Razorbacks open their season Saturday with a trip to sixth-ranked Auburn. They'll then play three consecutive games against unranked opponents before continuing their SEC schedule.
Arkansas is a combined 7-17 since Bobby Petrino's controversial departure.
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