A man is facing multiple charges after patrolling deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) saw him throwing a Molotov cocktail from his car onto property belonging to his former girlfriend.
According to the HCSO, just before 8:30 p.m. On May 16, Sheriff’s deputies were on a proactive patrol in the area of California and Narrow Streets in Brooksville when they noticed a silver Nissan sedan being recklessly driven through the area. When they tried to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle’s driver, later identified as 34-year-old Ricky Eugene Thomas, threw something that was later identified as a Molotov cocktail out of the driver’s side window.
When they pulled the vehicle over near Orlando Avenue and Chascas Street, they noticed that Thomas and the inside of his car reeked of gasoline.
Upon investigation, they learned that the area where Thomas had just been driving also emitted the strong smell of gasoline.
Even further investigation revealed that Thomas had been involved in a relationship with a woman living in the general area. That woman told investigators that Thomas had been sitting in her driveway for several hours and that he had harassed her and a juvenile who was also on the property at the time of the incident.
She also said that Thomas had gotten out of the vehicle, and when he began arguing with her on the back patio of the residence, the youth attempted to get between them.
In response, Thomas struck the youth in the head, picked him up from behind, and attempted to carry him toward the vehicle.
The youth eventually broke free of Thomas’ grip and ran back into the residence.
Investigators said that Thomas used a gas can that was stored on the property to fill a plastic water bottle with gasoline, then fashioned a wick and planned to throw the Molotov cocktail onto the woman’s property where he had previously poured gasoline.
Deputies detained Thomas before he was able to use the incendiary device.
Thomas was arrested and booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on charges of child abuse, false imprisonment, and the discharge/placement of a destructive device.
The case is pending.