Melbourne Man Tries To Set Church On Fire

Man arrested on arson charges after trying to light fire to a church and a van.
Man arrested on arson charges after trying to light fire to a church and a van.

MELBOURNE, Florida – The Melbourne Police Department received a call about an individual trying to set a building and van on fire, both belonging to the Lighthouse Assembly of God Church.

Officers arrived at the Melbourne location and found a broken glass door with a rock lying in the room approximately 10 feet from the door.

“I checked the area around the door and found there to be fresh burn marks on both the door and the paved ground,” the officer said.

Police also found burn marks on the passenger side of a van in the church parking lot.

A man, who called police about the incident, shouted: “over there, he is running!”

Officers ran after the man, later identified as 28-year-old Scott P. McCarthy, who said “the gas can is not mine” as he was being detained. McCarthy was found with a lighter in his pocket.

McCarthy, of Melbourne, first said he was just in the neighborhood jogging with a gas can that he had found. But then he requested to be Baker Acted and claimed he suffers from schizophrenia.

McCarthy was arrested and transported to the Brevard County Jail where he was charged with criminal mischief to a place of worship, hurling or throwing a deadly missile, and attempted arson.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Scott Lee travels between Brevard County and Indian River County and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee also writes for Sebastian Daily covering Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he covers Palm Bay, West Melbourne, and the Melbourne area.
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