Cops: Tampa woman tried to burn deputy alive

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa woman was arrested after she set fire to a deputy’s property and tried to burn him alive on the Fourth of July, according to an affidavit.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says Melinda Jones-Lyn, 51, parked her car onto an unidentified deputy’s lawn, exited the vehicle and “wantonly and maliciously” tossed a glass bottle full of fire accelerant through the window of the deputy’s home, causing it to shatter.

Jones-Lyn then approached the deputy’s unmarked HCSO patrol vehicle and set it on fire. She then tied a rag to a rod, lit it on fire and threw the flaming rag through the shattered window, setting fire to the occupied home, according to the report.

With unrelenting hostility, deputies say the suspect threw a second glass bottle filled with fire accelerant at the home’s front door, which is made of glass, but failed to shatter the door.

When the deputy exited the home to approach Jones-Lyn, he was hit with fire accelerant, that covered his clothing.

To fend for his life and his property, the deputy tackled Jones-Lyn to the ground, but with a lighter in hand, she persisted in trying to set him on fire “in manner that was perpetrated from a premeditated design to affect death of victim, was perpetrated during the act of arson,” according to the affidavit.

Deputies say Jones-Lyn threatened the deputy, telling him “I’m going to kill you” and “I”m going to burn you,” as witnesses watched her attempt to burn him alive.

A spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office tells News Channel 8 the two parties were known to each other.

“She is a relative of a deputy.  She went to his residence (address confidential) and threw an accelerant at the deputy’s house and his patrol vehicle.  There were no injuries and she was arrested at the scene.”

It’s unclear when Jones-Lyn was eventually detained, where the crime occurred, and exactly how much property was lost in the fire, but she was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree dwelling with people present, second-degree arson and throwing a deadly missile into dwelling or aircraft.

She’s being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bond.