Florida Arsonist Arrested For Setting Fire To A Jesus Statue And Two Houses

A man from Florida was arrested after he allegedly set fire to two homes and a statue of Jesus Christ.

James Lee Harris, 25, was arrested after setting fire to a statue of Jesus outside the ‘Our Lady of Grace’ Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, Florida, last Friday, 22nd October.

According to a statement made by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) officers were dispatched to the Lady of Grace church after several reports were called in about a fire.

James Lee Harris (25) arrested for setting fire to a tree and a statue of Jesus Christ at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. (Citrus County Sheriff’s Office/Newsflash)

A witness at the scene told members of the police and fire department that they saw a white male wearing a black leather jacket and tan shorts running across the parking lot towards the front of the church.

The witness then claims to have seen the suspect pouring liquid out of a jerry can onto a tree and around a statue of Jesus before setting them both on fire.

The officers at the scene reviewed the church’s security camera footage and found that a man matching the witness’ description was recorded trying to light propane tanks near the building on fire.

The CCSO received further reports of a similar nature including a call from one resident who witnessed a man attempt to set their garden fence on fire and that he had covered several windows and doors with a flammable liquid.

Citrus County Fire Rescue was also dispatched to another fire linked to the suspect which saw a home badly damaged after it went up in flames on South Wadsworth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

CCSO Community Crimes Detectives started investigating the case and obtained security camera footage that linked the fires to Harris.

According to the statement: “Through strong community efforts, Harris’ whereabouts were obtained and he was taken into custody shortly before 10 p.m. After being read his Miranda Rights, Harris confessed to setting all three fires.”

He is currently being held at the Citrus County Detention Facility on USD 36,000 (GBP 26,170) bond.

Prendergast, the Citrus County Sheriff, said: “Not only is arson dangerous, but in some cases can be deadly.”

“No one in our community was injured during Harris’ tirade of inconceivable acts. I applaud our deputies, Community Crimes Detectives, and our partners at Citrus County Fire Rescue for working swiftly and diligently to keep our community safe from further harm.”

The suspect’s trial date has not been confirmed by the CCSO.

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