A 48-year-old Florida woman is accused of pouring gasoline on a man and threatening to set him on fire during a domestic spat over rent money.
A Leesburg Police officer responded to a 911 hangup call at an apartment on Sandy Oak Circle. As the officer was approaching the apartment, dispatch reported receiving another call from the location with a man saying someone had just poured gasoline on him, according to the police report.
The officer was met at the front door by the victim, who was wearing all dark clothing and seemed out of breath. He had a very strong odor of gasoline emitting off of him, the report said.
The victim said his girlfriend – Lashann Meshall Smith – had poured gasoline on him but he was able to get away. He said the incident started with the two of them arguing about rent money throughout the day. The victim said they were hanging out earlier at a friend’s house, and that’s where he believes she filled a plastic bottle with gasoline, according to the report.
The victim said they went back to the apartment after hanging out with their friend, and Smith asked him to take her to the store a short time later. He said they both entered the truck and started traveling west on Montclair Road. The victim said shortly after leaving the complex, Smith pulled out the plastic bottle of gasoline and threatened to blow him up, the report said.
The victim said he stopped the truck and jumped out to get away from Smith. He said she jumped out and ran over to him, and started throwing gasoline on him, getting some on his clothing. The victim said Smith then pulled out a lighter and began lighting it while approaching him, according to the report.
The victim said he grabbed a white PVC pipe that was sitting in the back of is truck and used it to defend himself and keep Smith from lighting him on fire. He said after he struck her a few times, Smith stopped going after him with the gasoline and started breaking his cell phone. This gave the victim time to get back into his truck, drive back to his apartment, and use his son’s phone to call 911, the report said.
The officer spoke with Smith, who had approached officers while the victim was being interviewed. She said the victim battered her with the white pipe, so she got away and called police. Asked why the victim smelled like gasoline, Smith said he tried throwing some on her inside the truck, according to the report.
The officer asked why Smith didn’t smell like gasoline if that was the case and she didn’t have an answer. She also said the argument started over the rent money but said the victim was battering her and that’s why she walked back to the truck, grabbed the bottle of gasoline and poured it on him in self-defense, the report said.
The officer noted that the victim allowed him to search the truck for any spillage of gasoline and there was none, which went against Smith’s claim of the victim trying to throw gasoline on her inside the truck. Smith also said she and the victim were both using narcotics at the friend’s house, according to the report.
Smith had several marks on her arms, head and neck from the PVC pipe. EMS evaluated her at the scene for any other injuries, the report said.
The officer determined the victim’s story was more accurate due to the gasoline on his clothing and the fact that there was none in the vehicle. The victim also said he used the PVC pipe in self-defense against Smith, which appears consistent with the marks on her, according to the report.
Smith was arrested and charged with simple domestic battery and aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. She was taken to the Lake County Jail, where she was released the next day on $3,000 bond.