UPDATE: Dixie County man facing charges after attacking Bonifay fire chief at crash scene

Local News

UPDATE as of 5:45 p.m.

HOLMES COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — A Dixie County man is facing some serious charges after he allegedly attacked two first responders.

It happened Tuesday morning around 7 a.m. on Interstate 10, near Caryville.

Bonifay Fire Chief Larry Cook said the Bonifay Fire Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies, Five Points Volunteer Fire Department, and the Florida Highway Patrol all responded. 

“We were paged out for a motor vehicle accident on I-10 around the 107-mile marker,” Cook said. “We got there to a fully involved vehicle. After the fire was extinguished we were looking for the driver or occupants and didn’t see any in the burned-out wreckage.”

Cook did a perimeter search and found 55-year-old David Lovvorn in the woods. 

“When I approached him and asked if I could help him he said that he would kill me,” Cook said. “That’s all he said.”

Cook said Lovvorn held this tire iron straight at him then swung it and hit him in the knee. 

He then called for backup. Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews said his deputies went in to help. 

“Our deputy gave him a couple of orders to drop the weapon at that time in which what he did at that point in time is he threw the tire iron striking our deputy in the finger and in the leg area,” Crews said.

Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies said they tased Lovvorn and arrested him.

He is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and a firefighter as well as resisting arrest with violence. 

“You just never know anymore,” Crews said. “Here we are to help somebody and here he is trying to hurt somebody.”

Crews said they strongly believe he was under the influence of methamphetamine.

Lt. Jason King with the Florida Highway Patrol said they called the fire marshal’s office to help determine how the fire started.

“They do believe they have located the source of the fire starting,” King said. “Obviously, the arrested subject isn’t being cooperative so I don’t think they have any clear direction to go at this point but I think it is still an open case for them.”

All law enforcement involved said they are thankful for the collaboration between agencies. 

Our previous story:

UPDATE: Washinton County Sheriff’s deputies said that they have arrested 55-year-old David Chester Lovvorn in the case. They added that he struck the fire chief and also threw his tire iron at a Washington County deputy striking him. Lovvorn is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery on a firefighter, and resisting arrest with violence.

BONIFAY, Fla. (The Holmes County Advertiser) — A vehicle crash on Interstate 10 turned into something other than expected on Tuesday for Bonifay Fire-Rescue’s Chief Larry Cook. 

BFR was called out to the scene of a crash at mile marker 107, upon arrival the vehicle was fully involved in fire. Cook says there wasn’t anyone inside.  

“When we arrived on scene we saw the vehicle but there was no one inside,” said Cook. “I knew that someone had to be around there, so I went on a perimeter search.” 

Firefighters responded to this blaze Tuesday. – Contributed Photo Bonifay Fire Rescue

It was then that Cook saw a man sitting at the fence line. As Cook approached the man he asked, “Are you okay? Do you need help?”  

Cook says that is when things went awry. 

“I asked the man if he needed help,” said Cook. “He looked at me and said, ‘I will kill you’.”  

According to Cook, the man had his hand behind his back and pulled out what he first thought was a gun, but it turned out to be a small handheld tire iron. At that point he took a swing and hit Cook on the knee. 

Cook called out for help to Florida Highway Patrol and Washington County Sheriff’s Office who were also on scene.  

“I turned to call for assistance and they were right there,” said Cook. “They saw what happened and were able to detain the man after a struggle.” 

In a news release, the Florida Highway Patrol said the man was the driver of the vehicle and that it appeared he set the fire after the crash. He is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

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