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Arson man: 57-year-old burns downtown church, bad bug bites cited to be motive

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A man charged with arson is accused of burning a downtown church because of bad “bug bites” finally getting to him. A 57-year-old homeless man was said to be growing so tired of the mosquitoes in the area that he took his anger out on a nearby church in Orlando, Florida. The Sun Sentinel tells the story and apparent insect-hating motive in a recent report this Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.

The so-called “arson man” has been known to call himself a visionary entrepreneur, and prior to becoming homeless, was in fact a commercial space expert and science pioneer. However, he is now under fire for setting a downtown Florida church aflame. The 57-year-old man, Drazen Premate, is thought to have ignited H20 Church on West Livingston Street simply because he had grown so “tired of those mosquitoes.”

As noted in the official police statement this week, the main motive seems to have simply been due to "bug bites," bemusing as that sounds.

“A man at the church Saturday afternoon saw Premate add wood to a fire, which then grew out of control. According to an arrest report released Monday, there was ‘substantial’ damage to the rear of the building. Premate told authorities he started the fire because of ‘bug bites.’ He was arrested on a criminal arson charge and currently remains in the Orange County Jail.”

According to an on site property manager, he allowed Premate to stay in locales near the church for a few weeks because the homeless man seemed lost. He added that he tried to help the man find a homeless shelter for support, but the arson man continued to decline.

Premate was in the news over 20 years ago for earning a master’s degree in space technology from the Florida Institute of Technology, but has had a hard time getting his innovative ideas put into actual practice. The man now awaits judgment in the local county jail on the arson accusation.

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