Just out of prison, deputies say, Hernando man tried to set ex-girlfriend and her new beau on fire

HERNANDO, Fla - Hernando County deputies say a man who was just released from prison attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend by setting them on fire Tuesday morning.

Sylvester Francis Kulaga is now on the run.

Kulaga, deputies say, was released from prison at little after midnight June 15.  He was locked up since November on various drug and larceny charges.

Deputies say on June 18 around 6 a.m., Kulaga went to house he formerly shared with his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Massey.  Massey and her new boyfriend, James Mullis, were just waking up and preparing for the day, deputies say.

According to a press release, Kulaga opened a window and unlocked a door, gaining entry into Massey's residence.  Once inside, deputies said, he kicked in the bedroom door.

While Massey and Mullis were lying in bed, Kulaga doused them with lighter fluid, deputies say.

Kulaga had a lighter and a can of spray paint with him, according to the press release.  After dousing the victims, he attempted to start a fire by spraying the paint in their direction and igniting it.

Massey jumped out of bed and lunged at Kulaga in an attempt to stop him from starting a fire.  A roommate who was sleeping, Marvin Harvey, hear the commotion and came to help. 

Deputies say the roommate also observed Kulaga attempting to ignite the stream of spray paint.  When Harvey tried stopping Kulaga, Kulaga grabbed him by the throat, squeezed his throat and threw him out of the bedroom, deputies say.

Eventually, Massey and Harvey were able to overpower Kulaga and push him out of the residence.  Kulaga took off running.

Warrants have been issued for Kulaga's arrest.  The charges include two counts of attempted first degree murder and battery. 

Deputies urge residents to not approach Kulaga because he should be considered dangerous.

If you know the whereabouts of this individual, please call the Detective Elizabeth Tinkham at 352.754.6830.

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