BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – James Todd Short, 58, who is listed as homeless on the arrest report, was arrested yesterday and charged with arson, theft of a motor vehicle, and drug possession after Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a scooter on fire in the woods near the Roadway Inn on Williston Road.
Deputies responded to a report of a scooter on fire at 7:18 a.m. yesterday and found the scooter just inside the wood line, south of the hotel building. The fire was extinguished by Alachua County Fire Rescue.
Investigation revealed that the scooter was stolen from the Roadway Inn on August 23. Short was found in the parking lot of the Roadway Inn, near where the scooter caught fire. Post Miranda, Short reportedly said he took the scooter and pushed it into the woods; he said he threw a rock at the scooter, causing a spark, and that might have caused the fire. The deputy noted that Short had a lighter in his possession.
During a search incident to arrest, a clear pipe was reportedly found in Short’s pocket. Post Miranda, Short reportedly said he used the pipe to smoke methamphetamine.
Short also had a vehicle that he said he had just purchased, and the deputy reported that Short had the title to the vehicle. However, the tag on the vehicle was not assigned to that vehicle and was reported stolen in Marion County. Post Miranda, Short reportedly said he had taken the tag from a garbage can at a business in Marion County and had attached it to the vehicle.
Short has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, second-degree arson, possession of drug equipment, and attaching a license plate not assigned to a vehicle. He has some out-of-area convictions and is being held on a total bond of $23,000.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.