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Deputies: Man set woman's door on fire, held her captive for hours

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Posted at 12:29 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 12:29:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man has been arrested after he allegedly set a woman's door on fire, broke into her home and assaulted her at knifepoint, holding her captive inside her own home for hours.

According to court documents, Leon County deputies responded to La Salle Boulevard in regards to an arson and battery incident on Monday morning. When deputies arrived on scene, they immediately began speaking with the victim.

The victim told deputies that her friend Malcolm Cooper, 42, showed up to her home around 6:30 a.m. that morning and demanded to be let in.

Deputies say when Cooper was denied access he became angry and extremely agitated. The victim said he threatened her by stating "let me in or I'm going to hurt you." After that, Cooper grabbed a gas can and proceeded to pour the gasoline on the back door of the victim's home.

Documents say Cooper then lit the gasoline on fire. The victim said she opened the door and managed to extinguish the flames with water. But while the victim was putting out the fire, Cooper forced his way inside the home.

Once inside the home, the victim said Cooper held a knife to her throat and threatened to hurt her. Cooper also punched the victim in the face and would not allow her to leave her home, according to documents.

Documents say Cooper held the victim captive for at least four hours until a family member of the victim came by looking for the victim. When Cooper noticed that the family member had showed up, he quickly ran away from the home.

While investigating the scene, deputies found a gas can at the back door and evidence that the door had been damaged by a fire. Deputies also noticed injuries on the victim's face and noted that all four tires on her vehicle had been deflated by Cooper.

Through further investigation, deputies found Cooper at a home on Biscay Boulevard.

When questioned about the incident, Cooper admitted to setting the victim's door on fire in an attempt to scare her. Deputies say Cooper also admitted to hitting the victim and breaking her cell phone before he left her home.

According to documents, Cooper was arrested and transported to the Leon County Detention Facility. He is facing a series of charges including 1st degree arson, burglary with assault or battery and kidnapping.