Florida man accused of attempting to set 1-year-old on fire at Tyre truck stop
TYRE N.Y. (WHEC) — A Florida man is facing attempted aggravated murder charges after the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said he attempted to light a 1-year-old child on fire at the Love’s Truck Stop in Tyre.
It happened at 1262 Route 414 in Tyre at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Deputies were responding to a report that there were several fires inside the building.
Responding deputies found two suspects believed to have started and/or attempted to have started the fires, as well as a 1-year-old child who was covered in gasoline, Sheriff Timothy Luce said. The child was immediately taken to Geneva General Hospital by North Seneca Ambulance.
As deputies were sweeping the business, Luce said, they found a "suspicious device" in the men’s restroom. The building was immediately evacuated, and the Monroe County Bomb Squad, Ontario County Sheriff’s Office K9s, as well as members of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office were called in.
It took about four hours for the scene to be declared safe. Luce said the device was found to be a replica that was not incendiary in nature.
That’s when Luce says another child, who is 4 years old, was found abandoned in the cab of a tractor-trailer at the scene, with suspected head injuries. Deputies forced their way into the cab of the truck and got the child out. That child was also taken to Geneva General Hospital by North Seneca Ambulance, but later ended up being airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital by LifeNet.
The Sheriff’s Office filed charges against Jamie Avery Jr., 28, of Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday morning and charges against another are pending.
Avery is charged with attempted aggravated murder, second degree attempted murder, second degree arson, attempted second degree arson, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was arraigned and remanded to the Seneca County Correctional Facility on $100,000 cash bail, $250,000 secure bond.
The Sheriff’s Office said it believes Avery is a truck driver, and that he was born in Syracuse but now resides in Florida. Luce said Avery does still have family ties to the Syracuse area.
Both children are expected to make full recoveries. They are now in the custody of the Seneca County Division of Human Services.
Avery was detained without incident, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Luce did not name the other suspect in this case but did say deputies believe both suspects covered the younger child in a flammable liquid and attempted to light the child on fire inside the building. They were not successful.
Officials said as of Wednesday, they do believe there is a parental relationship, but "have not fully determined that yet."
The circumstances surrounding the 4-year-old are still under investigation.
Luce said the building did suffer minor damage from the fires.
Watch the full press conference in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):