DONALDSONVILLE — Lake Wales, Fla., police arrived in Donaldsonville on Wednesday to question a Florida fugitive who is accused of shooting an Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputy in the hand on Tuesday, according to a report by The Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger.
The suspect, John Wesley McMullen, 35, is wanted in Florida on counts of attempted first-degree murder, as well as robbery, arson and other charges, Sheriff Jeff Wiley said.
The Ledger gave these details in the Florida case:
McMullen is accused of physically attacking the 59-year-old owner of London Inn Motel in Lake Wales about 5:15 a.m. Saturday at the motel. Police said McMullen, accompanied by a woman, knocked on the door to the motel office and forced his way in once the owner opened the door. McMullen then physically attacked the man and demanded his wallet, jewelry and the keys to his Camry, which was recovered Tuesday.
McMullen then tied the man’s hands with a cord, lit clothing on fire and threw it on a couch before leaving with the woman in the Camry, police said. The victim was able to free himself and escape the fire, which spread from the lobby to two adjoining rooms.
Police said he was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he remained in critical, but stable, condition with injuries related to smoke inhalation.
The Louisiana incident began when the deputy, whose identity has not been released, stopped a vehicle from a description given by Donaldsonville Wal-Mart employees in a shoplifting complaint. When the deputy stopped the vehicle, someone from the passenger side “came out shooting,” hitting the deputy in the hand, Wiley said.
The injured deputy is in stable condition and was treated at a hospital, Wiley said.
After a five-hour search involving police dogs and helicopters, McMullen was found shirtless shortly before 7:30 p.m., hiding in a stretch of sugarcane fields near the Assumption Parish line, Wiley said.
The driver of the suspects’ vehicle and another man and woman were also arrested.
McMullen will face counts in Ascension Parish of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, flight from an officer, shoplifting, armed robbery, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault.
The Ledger reported that McMullen was released from a Florida state prison in April 2014 after serving about a year and two months for grand theft and attempted burglary charges. McMullen has five prior arrests in Polk County dating back to 1998.