Video shows accused arsonist threaten Marion deputies with bat, machete

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Video released Monday shows an arson suspect threatening deputies with a bat and a machete as they try to arrest him on New Year’s Day, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrested Jessie Kropp, 39, on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Investigators said they were searching for Kropp after a pair of vehicle arsons, including one earlier that morning.

A deputy spotted Kropp in the area of East Highway 318 and North U.S. Highway 301 in Citra. Records show the deputy attempted a traffic stop, but the accused arsonist showed the deputy his middle finger and sped off, records show.

After a brief chase, the video shows deputies managed to flatten at least two of the tires on the red Chevrolet Camaro Kropp was driving. Investigators said it was later determined the car was reported stolen in Tennessee.

Deputies approached Kropp, who had gotten out of his car holding a bat, according to the video. As deputies approached, they said the man also pulled out a machete.

The video shows Kropp backing away from deputies as they order him to drop the weapons. Records show Kropp responded, “You’re gonna have to kill me, because I ain’t going back to prison.”

The video shows one deputy attempting to use a Taser on Kropp, but it does not work, and the accused arsonist was able to run away into the woods.

The video then cuts to deputies using a dog to track Kropp through the woods. It shows them to locate the bat and machete on the ground.

Eventually, a deputy spots Kropp in a tree and the man is ordered to climb down.

Investigators said it took them 11 hours of negotiation to get the man to climb down from the tree.

He faces charges of second-degree arson, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding and grand theft.

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