Police say a Volusia County, FL man faked a hate crime, set his ex-girlfriend’s car on fire and then staged his own abduction to throw off detectives.
Vincent Palmer, 27, told detectives he taped a note with racial slurs and the words “KKK” and “Trump” written on it to his ex-girlfriend’s mailbox early Saturday before throwing a brick through her car window and dousing the back seat in gasoline because they were having problems over the custody of their children, according to an arrest report.
Ormond Beach police and firefighters responded to the woman’s home on Biltmore Drive shortly after 5:30 a.m. Saturday after she found her car on fire in the driveway. She told police a neighbor woke her up to make sure everyone in the house, where her family has lived since the 1970s, was safe.
Officers noticed brick in the back seat and called the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate the fire as suspicious, a report states.
Police said the victim called Palmer to tell him what happened and he showed up while they were still at the scene. Officers didn’t consider him a suspect at the time but said they noticed him acting suspicious, so they checked and found he had a warrant out for his arrest on child-support charges, according to the report.
He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail and released on bail, records show.
The next morning, Daytona Beach police were called to a possible abduction after one of Palmer’s relatives found a bloody note saying, “You will never see your grandson again alive” and “KKK,” according to an arrest report. Palmer later told police that it was his blood.
Officers started searching for Palmer and found him at a Burger King in Ormond Beach, where he eventually confessed to the crimes, police said.
Palmer was jailed Monday without bail on an arson charge.