Man accused of setting five cars on fire in Hollywood

By Christiana Sciaudone
Staff Writer
Posted August 5 2003

Hollywood ∑ Police charged a Lake Worth man with setting five car fires Monday night and a second arsonist might be at large, officials said.

An officer saw Paul Jonathan Trimble, 22, lurking near four blazing cars at Pinehurst Apartments in the 400 block of South Park Road about 3:30 a.m., said Hollywood police Lt. Tony Rode.

"I lit some cars on fire, dude," Trimble allegedly told the officer. Trimble said he set the fires because he wanted some excitement, police said. Trimble was arrested at the scene and charged with five felony counts of arson, Rode said. Police are investigating whether Trimble was involved in other fires.

"These were random acts of violence by a pyromaniac ... who basically enjoyed watching vehicles fully engulfed in flames," Rode said.

On the morning of July 28, two cars and a large trash bin were set on fire about 15 yards away in the parking lot at Windsor Apartments on the 500 to 600 block of South Park Road, Rode said.

Police do not think the two incidents are related.

"We believe there might be a second pyromaniac out there," Rode said. He said the arsonists used different methods of igniting the fires.

Trimble stuffed newspaper behind a rear wheel and lighted it, Rode said. Last week's arsonist threw a flammable device through smashed car windows, Rode said. Damage to the cars in that case was extensive.

At the scene Monday morning, Trimble laughed as he pointed out the cars he set afire, including a Volkswagen Jetta, a Honda Accord, a Honda Civic and an Acura, Rode said. Two of those vehicles were destroyed, and the other two were moderate damaged.

Police said Trimble also confessed to lighting a Mitsubishi on fire in the Target parking lot at 300 Hollywood Mall, Rode said. Firefighters responded to that call around 2:12 a.m., police said.

Trimble was being held at the Broward County Jail. If anyone has information, call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

Christiana Sciaudone can be reached at csciaudone@ sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7922.