WATCH: Video shows accused arsonist threaten Marion deputies with bat, machete, sheriff’s office says

Deputies arrested Jessie Kropp, 39, on Sunday, Jan. 1

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Video released Monday shows an arson suspect threatening deputies with a bat and a machete as they try to arrest him on New Year’s Day, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrested Jessie Kropp, 39, on Sunday, Jan. 1.

[TRENDING: Woman thrown from horse dies after barrel race at Florida rodeo | Tenant shoots landlord after being told to vacate Seminole County home, deputies say | Become a News 6 Insider]

Investigators said they were searching for Kropp after a pair of vehicle arsons, including one earlier that morning.

A deputy spotted Kropp in the area of East Highway 318 and North U.S. Highway 301 in Citra. Records show the deputy attempted a traffic stop, but the accused arsonist showed the deputy his middle finger and sped off, records show.

After a brief chase, the video shows deputies managed to flatten at least two of the tires on the red Chevrolet Camaro Kropp was driving. Investigators said it was later determined the car was reported stolen in Tennessee.

Jessie Kropp, 39 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Deputies approached Kropp, who had gotten out of his car holding a bat, according to the video. As deputies approached, they said the man also pulled out a machete.

The video shows Kropp backing away from deputies as they order him to drop the weapons. Records show Kropp responded, “You’re gonna have to kill me, because I ain’t going back to prison.”

The video shows one deputy attempting to use a Taser on Kropp, but it does not work and the accused arsonist was able to run away into the woods.

The video then cuts to deputies using a dog to track Kropp through the woods. It shows them locate the bat and machete on the ground.

Eventually, a deputy spots Kropp in a tree and the man is ordered to climb down.

Investigators said it took them 11 hours of negotiation to get the man to climb down from the tree.

He faces charges of second-degree arson, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding and grand theft.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.