TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The man who told Hernando County deputies he was a “professional arsonist” after setting one of their patrol cars on fire last month will spend a several years in a Florida state prison.

On Wednesday, Anthony Thomas Tarduno, 48, pled “no contest” to two counts of arson and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Tarduno admitted to igniting a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office vehicle on Dec. 7, 2022, while it was parked in front of an apartment complex in Spring Hill. Most of the damage was near the gas tank, where trash and other items were piled up to fuel the flames. The fire also damaged an adjacent car.

Deputies said Tarduno returned to the site of the incident and admitted to setting the fire. Tarduno told detectives he was “intoxicated” and does “stupid things” when he gets drunk. He said he left a bar on Northcliffe, spotted the patrol car and decided to set it ablaze.

Tarduno said he snatched a bag of garbage from a nearby dumpster, put it under the patrol car, used a lighter to set it on fire, then went back to the bar. He told deputies he started feeling bad and decided to confess.

Tarduno told deputies he’s a “professional arsonist” with a history of similar offenses. Jail records indicate he was arrested for arson in 2012.