Man charged with locking kids in apartment, setting fire

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 9:40 PM EDT
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By: Associated Press

August 15, 2017

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a Florida man locked his three children in an apartment and set it on fire.

The Palm Beach Post reports that 22-year-old Velmando Williams remained in jail Tuesday, charged with arson, attempted homicide and kidnapping.

Riviera Beach police say Williams was arguing with the children's mother Friday when the fight turned physical. The woman threatened to call police, and authorities say Williams told her he was going to "burn her apartment down."

Police say Williams slammed the door and locked himself and the children inside. Officials say he set fire to the couches and then escaped through a window.

Neighbors and firefighters rescued the children, who were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The youngest is a month old.

Williams was being held without bond. Jail records didn't list an attorney.