Arson suspect burns himself while setting boat business on fire, Volusia deputies say

Suspect claims he was trying to steal car ‘but it didn’t work out’

Sean Sword (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man who set a boat storage business on fire during a burglary, damaging expensive vessels and equipment in the process, ended up in a hospital with severe burns, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said witnesses driving by noticed the fire coming from Myers Marine Service in DeLand Saturday night and when they stopped to investigate, Sean Sword came running out, saying “I lit a tow rope on fire” and that he was burned.

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Sword told deputies, “I was trying to steal the (Volvo) XC90 but it didn’t work out” since “it was too brand new” so he broke into the office, typed a letter to a man and grabbed keys that he thought were for the Volvo that was parked outside, records show.

He also said, “I did start the fire” with “gas and a lighter” “after trying to find somewhere to sleep for the night and then I went crazy and bashed my way in (to the office) and went onto the computer,” according to the affidavit.

When asked why, he claimed he wanted “to make a big enough statement for a biker patch Hell’s Angels,” records show.

Deputies said they interviewed Sword again after he was taken to a hospital to be treated for severe burns and he admitted to jumping the business’ fence to peruse vehicles in an attempt to steal one but when that wasn’t successful, he set fire to a tow rope and the flames spread from there.

He said he hoped he would be jailed for a long time, according to the affidavit.

Records show a $70,000 custom-built boat, a $5,000 1983 homemade boat and multiple boat engines valued at $10,000 were damaged.

Sword is facing arson and burglary charges.

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