Man sets house, cars on fire over withheld stimulus check, deputies say

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright held a press conference Friday morning to discuss a man’s charges following a domestic violence incident.

The sheriff’s office said an investigator responded Wednesday to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center to gather information following a violent domestic incident.

Deputies said the victim was assaulted by her boyfriend, Ray Michael Bradford, Jr., 36, of Spartanburg.

According to the sheriff’s office, the incident started at their home on North Cleveland Park Drive.

“I saw the pictures and this poor lady was beaten pretty badly,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said. “She got struck with a lamp, a table leg, and the guy’s fists.

Deputies said he also slammed her body down, kicked her multiple times and stomped on her neck.

Sheriff Wright told 7 News the victim may need surgery after she suffered a broken nose and a broken jaw.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I haven’t seen many people beat this badly,” he said.

Deputies said she was able to run away from the home. She was headed towards Cleveland Park when Bradford caught up to her. Deputies said Bradford drug the woman towards a pond at Cleveland Park and said he was going to kill her.

The woman was able to get away from Bradford and run to a neighbor’s home, where the neighbor called 911.

While the woman was being transported to the hospital, the Hilltop Fire Department was dispatched to their residence for an arson call, according to the sheriff’s office.

While the sheriff’s office’s investigators were on scene at the home, they learned officers with the Spartanburg Police Department were responding to an incident at a home on Pierpont Avenue.

According to the incident report, Bradford vandalized his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle Wednesday on Pierpont Avenue at about 12:25 a.m. Later, at about 4:15 a.m., his ex-girlfriend noticed her vehicle was on fire. She told officers that she saw Bradford standing next to her vehicle.

While officers with the sheriff’s office and police department were on scene at the Pierpont Avenue address, they were notified of another vehicle fire on Hillside Drive. Deputies said the current girlfriend’s mother lived at that address.

After arriving on scene at Hillside Drive, officers noticed Bradford was walking down Highway 221 near Mapletree Lane, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said Bradford would not listen to their orders to stop walking. Multiple units then responded to the scene and surrounded Bradford.

Bradford then opened a water bottle that contained gasoline in an attempt to keep officers away, according to the sheriff’s office.

“He opens up the gasoline and threatens to burn the officers and himself,” Sheriff Wright said.

A K-9 Unit arrived at the scene and Bradford surrendered, deputies said.

Sheriff Wright said, had officers not arrested Bradford when they did, the outcome could’ve been so much worse.

“He told them, ‘If y’all hadn’t caught me, I was going to go back’ and take care of his girlfriend and their children, and he had every intention of killing these people,” Sheriff Wright said.

Deputies said Bradford then confessed to assaulting his live-in girlfriend, setting their home on fire on North Cleveland Park Drive, vandalizing and setting the vehicle on fire on Pierpont Avenue and setting the vehicle on fire on Hillside Drive.

Bradford has been charged with attempted murder, three counts of arson and malicious injury to property. He was denied bond on all charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said the incidents stemmed from the government keeping his $600 stimulus check for child support, and wanting to “get even with those who had hurt him in the past.”

According to a SLED background check, Bradford has a history of assault and battery, domestic violence, burglary, trespassing, larceny, shoplifting, fraudulent checks and drug charges.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MOST POPULAR

get the app

My FOX8 News App

Follow FOX8 on Twitter