Florida Truck Driver Arrested for Attempting to Set Baby on Fire at New York Truck Stop

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
May 6, 2022 Updated: May 6, 2022

A truck driver from Florida was arrested on May 3 and charged with attempted murder, arson, and endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly doused a baby in flammable liquid and tried to light the child on fire at a truck stop in Seneca County, New York.

Jamie Avery Jr., 28, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was allegedly with another person who remained unidentified as of May 6.

“It is alleged that the two suspects had poured a flammable liquid on the 1-year-old child and attempted to light the child on fire inside the building,” said Seneca County Sheriff Timothy Luce in a May 3 press conference broadcast by FingerLakes1. “Luckily the two were unsuccessful.”

A 4-year-old child was later found in the cab of Avery’s truck with suspected head injuries, and circumstances surrounding this child are still under investigation, police said. Both children, a boy and a girl, were treated at local hospitals and are expected to make full recoveries, Luce said.

Lt. Timothy Thompson said at the press conference that cases involving children hit close to home for investigators, especially those with their own children at home.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Thompson said. “These cases take a toll, and they’re difficult and challenging to work.”

Avery and the second suspect had allegedly started multiple fires inside the Love’s truck stop in the town of Tyre, New York, just off the thruway. When police responded at about 5:30 a.m. to investigate after employees called 911, they discovered the 1-year-old child who was with the two adults and covered in a flammable liquid.

After the two suspects were arrested, police found a “suspicious device” in the men’s bathroom. The building was evacuated, and a bomb squad investigation revealed that the device was a “makeshift replica” designed to look like a bomb, police said.

Police said they believe there’s a parental relationship between Avery and the children but they haven’t yet determined specifics. Police also said Avery has family ties to Syracuse, New York.

Avery was charged with the felonies of attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder in the second degree, arson in the second degree, and attempted arson in the second degree, as well as two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment.

Avery’s alleged accomplice has not yet been charged, but both suspects could face new or additional charges, police said. Avery is being held on $100,000 cash and a $200,000 secure bond.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.