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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 6 months ago

Ormond man arrested after he set mobile home on fire

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There were no reported injuries.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

Ormond Beach police arrested a 57-year-old man who reportedly set fire to his roommate's mobile home, in which he was also currently living, in the 800 block of South Nova Road on Thursday, Feb. 7.

The victim told officers that Joseph Gerard has been "acting crazy" prior to the incident, and that he was banging items on the south side of the home. When she confronted him over the noise, he told her was cleaning. The victim believes Gerard was upset with her because she didn't want to be in an intimate relationship with him. 

She told police that she then smelled gasoline coming from the south side of the trailer, and confronted Gerard about it. He allegedly responded with "I've had it." Police report Gerard had threatened to burn down the home the day before. The victim contacted law enforcement and was on the phone with dispatch when Gerard demanded to know who she was talking to.

The victim told him it was a "friend," and Gerard then ignited the fire with a purple lighter. The victim did not sustain any injuries. The mobile home was extensively damaged, police report.

Gerard fled the scene, but was located by Volusia County deputies on LPGA Boulevard. Gerard was transported to the hospital due to medical complaints unrelated to his custody, police report, where he later explained he couldn't remember the incident.

He said social interactions with the victim had "become problematic," and caused excess stress and anxiety in his life. He told officers he "probably" poured the gasoline in the trailer and ignited the fire, though not in attempt to hurt the victim. He said he felt he had "no other choice" and that he was sorry for what he did.

 

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