A criminal complaint has been filed against William W. Sims. The complaint alleges that Sims entered an impound lot and set fire to a sports utility vehicle.

FORT WALTON BEACH — United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe, of the Northern District of Florida, and Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley announced Tuesday that a federal criminal complaint has been filed against William W. Sims.

 

The criminal complaint alleges that Sims, 23, of Fort Walton Beach, secretly entered the vehicle impound lot of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in the early morning hours of September 2 and broke into a seized Mercedes sports utility vehicle.

The complaint alleges that after retrieving something that was concealed in the seized vehicle, Sims used an accelerant to set the vehicle ablaze in the Sheriff’s Office lot. The fire department was forced to respond to extinguish the blaze.

“Individuals who feel enabled to attack a law enforcement agency present an extreme threat to our communities,” said Ashley. “With the arrest of the suspect and the steadfast support of our federal partners and U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe, we are sending a clear message that these individuals will be pursued, apprehended, and ultimately held accountable.”

Sims appeared in the United States District Court in Pensacola on Monday and was detained by the United States Marshals Service pending further proceedings.

“When offenders attack a law enforcement agency, they attack the individuals who protect us and help maintain law and order in our community,” Keefe said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will use all of the resources at its disposal to vigorously pursue and prosecute those who commit these types of crimes.”