May 22, 2019
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin Douglas was returning to the office Friday afternoon May 17th and noticed a fire in the parking lot at Weeks Marathon gas station in Bronson. He turned his unmarked patrol vehicle into the parking area and saw a Harley Davidson motorcycle fully engulfed in flames. He and the store clerk attacked the blaze with fire extinguishers and were able to put the fire out.
Detective Douglas was then approached in the parking lot by a female. She offered information that she knew how the fire started and told Detective Douglas she saw David Knutson pour something on the motorcycle and ignite it. She also said she saw Knutson walk away from the scene toward the rear of the gas station.
Detective Douglas began his investigation and discovered the clerk from the Marathon station and Knutson were involved in a dispute over a woman. Knutson was the jilted lover and in his efforts to set the record straight, he set the clerk’s Harley on fire.
Knutson was located in his vehicle a short distance from the scene by Detective Justin Vanduren. He smelled strongly of gasoline during his arrest. Knutson must not have been aware of the security video that recorded him pouring a flammable liquid on the motorcycle prior to lighting it, nor did he know this same video captured his images as he attempted to hide evidence by throwing the container he had full of gas into a nearby dumpster.
David Leroy Knutson 5/12/1956 of Bronson was booked into the Levy County Detention Facility and is being held on a $50,000.00 bond for 2nd Degree Arson. The motorcycle in this case was damaged in spite of Detective Douglas and the owner’s quick efforts.