Man set fires in woods while fleeing deputies, sheriff says

William Robert Young
William Robert Young

A man who fled deputies set fires in woods to avoid arrest but was found and taken into custody, Sheriff Troy Peterson said in a news release.

William Robert Young, 36, of McNeal McHenry Road in Perkinston, was arrested on a charge of felony evasion Tuesday after deputies chased him in north Harrison County and then in Stone County.

Deputies also arrested his companion, Casee Danyel Swetman, 24, of Wilson Drive in Saucier, on misdemeanor charges.

A deputy had tried to stop Young because he was driving a vehicle without a license plate. But Young sped up and drove away with his passenger, Peterson said. A K-9 team apprehended Swetman, who suffered a dog bite and was taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.

After his vehicle entered Stone County, Young reportedly stopped on a dead-end dirt road and ran into woods.

Young used his cigarette lighter to set several fires in the woods “to avoid being apprehended,” but he was caught, Peterson said in the release.

He was held at the county jail on a $250,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray.

He also faces felony charges through an investigation by the state Fire Marshals Office, Peterson said.

Deputies arrested Swetman on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She was booked at the jail on bonds totaling $1,000.