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'The vampires are going to defend themselves': Man accused of setting own house on fire

Authorities say Daytona Beach man ran door to door carrying large knife

Melvin Weaver

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – An arson investigation led to the arrest of a Daytona Beach man who made claims about vampires and set his own house aflame, according to officials from the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Officers arrested 64-year-old Melvin Weaver around 8 p.m. on Sunday after arriving to his home in the 600 block of Cassin Avenue. Initial reports cited a structure fire and a man with a large knife or sword going from door to door around other houses, claiming that his home was on fire and his wife was inside.

Police said that when they arrived, Weaver, who was holding a large blade, approached their patrol vehicle and was detained. 

According to Weaver's arrest report, the incident wasn't his only encounter with law enforcement officers on Sunday. The report states that his wife called 911 earlier in the day in an attempt to detain Weaver under the Baker Act, as he had been "rambling," she said. 

Officers said that when they arrived on the Baker Act call, Weaver attempted to "let his dog out" on them. Weaver was determined to be "in sound mind" at the time and was not taken in, according to authorities.

Weaver's wife said that, later on, around 7 p.m., Weaver ran into the street screaming and then came back into the house, according to the report. The report states that she heard him say "The vampires are going to defend themselves."

When the suspect's wife tried to check on her husband, Weaver grabbed a wooden cane and swung it at her, bruising her arm, police said. They said Weaver then began to break the home's windows.

Police said that Weaver began to tear the insulation out from his ceiling after he heard his wife say, "You're crazy." He put the insulation on his stove and turned the stove on, igniting the kitchen, according to authorities.

Both Weaver's wife and their dog were not injured in the fire, although officials determined the house as 75 percent burned and unlivable.

The arrest report states that, when the kitchen caught fire, Weaver grabbed a large knife and ran outside into the street, which prompted neighbors to call authorities.

Weaver's wife told police that her husband only takes pain medication for an illness and that she does not know if he took any narcotic drug. She refused to go to the hospital and declined to press charges.

Weaver was arrested on arson and aggravated battery charges. Jail records show he has been arrested before for violation injunctions against him for domestic violence. He is being held at the Volusia County Jail.