DAYTONA BEACH — A man accused of setting fire to his home had been rambling and having mental issues earlier in the day, according to a police report.
Daytona Beach police arrested Melvin Weaver, 64, and charged him with arson and aggravated battery Monday after his home at 604 Cassin Ave. burned to the ground Sunday night. By Monday morning, a judge ordered Weaver undergo an involuntary mental evaluation, according to court records.
According to a charging affidavit, Weaver’s wife tried to have him taken into custody for involuntary mental evaluation earlier in the day, but by the time officers arrived at 2 p.m., he was acting as if he “was in a sound mind and could not be Baker Acted,” a charging affidavit states.
Officers and an ambulance left, but later that evening, around 7 p.m., Weaver broke several windows in the house, hit his 59-year-old wife with one of her wooden canes and shouted that “The vampires are going to defend themselves,” the report states, eventually setting the couples’ home on fire and burning it to the ground.
According to Weaver’s wife, Gerri Sizemore, she began packing her things and called Weaver “crazy.”
Weaver responded by yanking the insulation out of the ceiling, throwing it on the stove and turning the stove on, the report states. As the kitchen became engulfed in flames, Sizemore states Weaver grabbed a large knife and ran out the door and down the street. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Weaver knocking on doors and screaming that his house was on fire and his wife was inside.
According to the report, Sizemore said Weaver takes medication for cancer, but she was unsure if he was taking anything else. Police took her to a domestic violence shelter while Weaver was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail.
It wasn’t the first time Weaver’s actions have frightened Sizemore.
She filed a request for protection in 2014. Jail records show Weaver was booked into the jail twice that year and charged with domestic violence. This week, Sizemore refused to press charges against her husband of eight years. Weaver was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and first-degree arson of a dwelling with people present.