An arson investigation is underway in Venice after a car was found engulfed in flames while officers were arresting a suspect on aggravated domestic battery charges early Wednesday.
The Venice Police Department arrested 49-year-old Melvin Dewayne Williamson on October 10th, 2017, after receiving a report of domestic battery.
Officers say when they arrived on scene at approximately 10:23 p.m., they found a woman with significant cuts on her face. Williamson was identified as a suspect.
Venice officers gained access to the home with the help of Sarasota County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit and were unable to find the alleged suspect. Around 2:32 a.m., officers found Williamson and he went into custody without incident.
A few minutes later, the Venice Police and Fire Department were dispatched to a fire outside the residence. Officers say the female victim's car was on fire in the driveway. After the fire was extinguished, officials say they found a large pile of clothes in front of the vehicle.
Venice Police Department Detectives and Crime Scene are actively conducting an arson investigation as Williamson has been charged with aggravated domestic battery.
The investigation is ongoing.