Man arrested after trying to set himself on fire

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

A man is in jail after allegedly putting the lives of three Perry County sheriff's deputies in danger during a suicide attempt and the suspect is no stranger to police.

Deputies said they did not realize the seriousness of the situation until it was all over. The said they feel blessed nobody was hurt during this unusual incident.

“He had a history for being a firebug, he had started several fires there,” said Deputy Elmer Fugate of the Perry County Sheriff's Department.

Police describe Johnny "Bud" Williams as a repeat offender. Police said he had not been out of jail 24 hours before coming back in.

“We have been on him several times before,” said Chief Deputy Tony Eversole.
“He had a history of mental illness and multiple suicide attempts.”

During their latest encounter, police said he put others in the line of fire.

“He tried to basically turn himself into a human fireball,” said Eversole.

“He went to a gas station and purchased a gallon of gas and said he was going to set himself on fire,” said Fugate.

Witnesses said the 57-year-old planned on walking to his nearby home on Main Street to set himself ablaze.

“He came out with a jug of gasoline and said he was going to go down in a blaze of glory,” said Fugate.

Officials said when they arrived, he had already barricaded himself inside his home.

“He started cussing at us, told us to leave his F-ing house,” said Fugate.

Once Williams opened the door, police said things got violent.

“After about twenty minutes came out swinging with a golf club,” said Fugate.

“He was swinging it, trying to keep the officers at bay,” said Eversole.

Witnesses said he became aggressive...

“He went in and got the golf club and he was swinging it at the county cop,” said Crew "Shorty" Blankenship, who called 9-1-1 and witnessed the incident.

Police said they realized he was serious when he took his next step.

“He sat the cigarette on the banister and he poured the entire gallon of gasoline over his head,” said Fugate.

Those who saw it said he did more than cover himself with the gas.

“He poured it all over him and drunk some of it,” said Blankenship.

“We offered him some mountain dew to get the taste out of his mouth and he told us he would rather be drinking vodka,” said Fugate.

Deputies said this is one of the wildest suicide attempts they have seen.

“This is the strangest one I have ever worked. We have worked hangings, shootings, attempted death by cop type deals, but he was ready to go,” said Eversole.

Williams is being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail.

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