A Florida man, Nicholas James Vought, has been arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the home of his ex while she and his son were still inside. Vought, 33, was arrested on Thursday and charged with arson, using explosives and intimidation, and possession of a fire bomb. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of the incident.
According to Yahoo News, police were able to use GPS data to gather enough evidence to identify Vought as a suspect and charge him for the attack. Vought sent a text to his ex-girlfriend before he threw the fire bomb.
“I’ll fight you to the end. Burn, get (our son) out, burn.”
Nicholas, a resident of Delray Beach, was also seen to be driving a white work van by witnesses with lettering on it that led investigators to his employer, an air conditioning company located in Boca Raton. The van was identified as leaving the scene with its headlights off just before the fire was discovered.
— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) March 26, 2016
Upon investigation, Vought’s employer told police that the cell phone used to send the text was a company cell phone issued to, and used only by, Vought. Along with this, the work van was set up for GPS tracking. The employer pulled the tracking data for the van, and it clearly indicated that the van was in the woman’s neighborhood at the time that the incident took place.
Nicholas James Vought threw the Molotov cocktail onto the roof of the woman’s house near a second-story glass window. The woman’s father, who lives in the home with her and her son, was able to put out the fire that ensued with a water hose.
Vought initially denied his involvement in the crime upon questioning by police.
WSB-TV was able to locate court records that show that this is not Vought’s first brush with the law. He was arrested for domestic battery in July, 2014. In that incident, the victim had to be hospitalized. He also served a month in jail in 2004 for a drug conviction.
A Molotov cocktail is an incendiary device made with a glass bottle, flammable liquid, and a rag. The rag is used to light the flammable liquid. They are primarily used to set targets on fire and are frequently used by criminals because they are so easy to construct.
Recent domestic violence statistics for Florida obtained from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence show that in 2013 approximately 108,030 domestic violence incidents were reported to police. It is estimated that many more incidents took place but were not reported. Stalking incidents increased by 19 percent during that same time period. Along with this, 170 of these incidents resulted in homicide. From 2006 to 2012, guns were used in 56 percent of the homicides that resulted from domestic violence incidents.
Partners attempting to flee an abusive spouse are always advised to first call 911 if in immediate danger. Additional assistance may be found by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or online at www.thehotline.org. Phone lines are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
WPBF News has identified the victim as Stephanie Baldino of Palm Beach County. Her father, who was able to extinguish the fire, is George Baldino. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Additionally, they identify Vought’s employer as Palm Air Conditioning, Inc.
The GPS records provided by Vought’s manager, David Jenkins, showed a concrete timeline for his movements. He left his home at 1:52 a.m. on Tuesday morning, drove to the victim’s block, stopped at 2:05 a.m., and left the scene at 2:07 a.m.
Vought is currently being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a $125,000 bond. It is not known at this time whether or not he has retained an attorney.
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