Deerfield Beach, FL – Authorities are offering a reward for information about the arsonist who set a Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) patrol vehicle on fire with a deputy inside it on Sunday.
The incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m. on July 3 in the 1000-block of West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach, WPLG reported.
Investigators said a BSO sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Deerfield Beach District was sitting parked in a marked patrol unit with his emergency lights on in an effort to deter street racers from speeding on Hillsboro Boulevard, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department.
BSO said the deputy noticed heavy smoke coming from the rear passenger side of the vehicle.
About the same time, “a passerby also flagged the deputy down and advised him that his rear passenger tire was on fire,” WPLG reported.
BSO said the deputy jumped out of his vehicle to investigate the smoke and immediately saw a lit flare that had been placed under his vehicle, according to the press release.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and additional sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene to assist the deputy and the vehicle fire was quickly extinguished, WPLG reported.
The sheriff’s department has asked that anyone with information about the incident or knowledge of the suspect contact that BSO Detective Kristina Luna at 954-321-4200 or send an anonymous tip by calling Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect who set the occupied sheriff’s department vehicle on fire.
It wasn’t the first time that this sort of attempt on a BSO deputy’s life has been made, WPLG reported.
In August of 2021, 25-year-old Toni Carr was arrested after she walked up to a sheriff’s patrol vehicle that was stopped at Northwest 27th Avenue and West Sunrise Boulevard and opened the gas cap.
Then Carr proceeded to stuff a wad of papers into the gas tank, WPLG reported.
Authorities said Carr used a lighter to set fire to a lottery ticket just as the deputy got out of her vehicle and ordered the suspect to the ground.
Backup arrived and assisted the deputy in taking Carr into custody, WPLG reported.
She was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, attempted arson, criminal mischief, and violation of probation.