A Florida man is accused of torching his ex-employee’s belongings, recording the destruction, and then sending the footage to him along with some vile statements, all over their competing landscaping businesses.
Alleged victim Ronald Barba called the Bay County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 30, to report that his ex-boss got into an argument with him over Facebook Messenger, according to the News Herald In Panama City, Florida.
The argument escalated into a fiery rage when Barba’s former boss Brannon Lee Gray, 33, of Youngstown, allegedly began sending footage of himself burning Barba's things.
“He was worried because Brannon began sending videos of him burning his personal items and his tent,” deputies wrote in their arrest report, obtained by the News Herald.
Both men own competing landscaping businesses in the area, according to the Miami Herald. Gray had reportedly accused Barba of stealing his customers after Barba began a business of his own.
The items that were set ablaze weren’t just Barba’s belongings but also his home, according to the report. He had been living in the tent as of late. The alleged threats were reportedly coming in as he was staying with his girlfriend.
He “received a message of a photo showing what he believed to be a tent and a cot [...] on fire,” the report states.
It wasn’t just destruction of property and a possible home, either. The video reportedly included some strong and threatening language.
“In the video you can hear Brannon make numerous statements, ‘I’m going to teach you something,’ ‘I know where to find you,’ ‘this town is a small town Ron, you’re not going to get away,’ and a threat that was sexual in nature,” the arrest report states.
Gray was arrested in connection with the fire that same day. By Tuesday he was charged with arson and his bond was set at $15,000. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
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