A Williamsburg man is behind bars for attempted murder and arson after allegedly setting a car on fire early Saturday morning in Mud Creek.
Deputy Josh Meadors arrested Paul R. Hyslope, 30, of 4160 Lot Mud Creek Road, at his home about 6:56 p.m. Monday and charged him with first-degree arson in connection with the incident, according to his arrest citation.
Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge and Chief Deputy Tim Shelley charged Hyslope with four counts of attempted murder Tuesday morning.
Hyslope, who has an extensive criminal record in Florida, had done handyman work for the woman and apparently became infatuated with her, Hodge noted.
“I guess he mistook kindness for love,” Hodge said. “They got into it or she just told him to quit calling her, and he went up there and set the car on fire under the carport. He poured gas on the car, and then walked off and left it.”
Hodge said the woman’s neighbors saw the fire start about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, and people passing by observed Hyslope jump on his four-wheeler as the car was starting to burn.
“The neighbors threw chains around the car before it got real big, and pulled it out from under the carport,” Hodge said.
At the time the fire started, Hodge said the woman, her infant daughter, her mother, and a man she asked to stay there because she was afraid of Hyslope, were all inside the residence.
“If it hadn’t been for the neighbors, it could have turned out really bad,” Hodge said. “They took a chain and just took a four-wheel drive and drug the car out.”