Ocala man jailed after attempted firebomb attack at DCF building

Tommy Lee Holt

A man who had been out of jail for just three days was arrested early Tuesday morning in connection with attempted arson at the Department of Children and Family Services in Ocala.

Ocala Police officers responded to the building, located at 3895 SW 13th St., and when they arrived, they met with a Marion County sheriff’s deputy who serves as the DCF liaison. The deputy had detained 26-year-old Tommy Lee Holt, of Ocala, and placed him under arrest for resisting an officer without violence and possession of methamphetamine.

Upon further investigation, a beer box was found on the north side of the building that contained eight bottles with wicks in them that obviously had been burned. The box was approximately 15 feet from the northern wall of the business and a small area of nearby grass was charred.

Officers said it appeared that the items in the beer box were “Molotov Cocktails” and were intended to be used to set fire to the building. Several witnesses identified Holt as a suspicious white male that approached the business, holding a box, which he dropped and then set on fire, an Ocala Police report states.

An empty clear container suspected of being diesel exhaust fluid also was located next to a picnic table on the south side of a neighboring business. It was confirmed through surveillance at a nearby gas station that Holt purchased the gasoline and was seen carrying the beer box, the report says.

Holt was taken into custody by Ocala police officers and charged with eight counts of possession, manufacture and transportation of a firebomb, one count of placing a destructive device and one count of attempted occupied arson. He was transported to the Marion County Jail and is being held on $20,000 bond.

Holt is no stranger to the Marion County legal system. He was arrested on Oct. 19 for failure to appear in court on charges of possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and drug paraphernalia and released from the jail this past Saturday. And on Aug. 13 he was arrested and charged with having an open container, jail records show.