Harold Meltzer told deputies he set brush fires near Boynton Beach to keep alligators away

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A man accused of starting a fire Thursday night in a rural area west of Boynton Beach told firefighters that he set the blaze because he didn't want alligators to attack him.

Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies said they were called to the 9400 block of Acme Dairy Rd. around 11 p.m. after Harold Meltzer told firefighters that he intentionally started a small fire.

Deputies said that there are many bushes, shrubs and trees in the area that could have burned if the fire was not quickly put out.

Meltzer, whom deputies said is homeless, told investigators that he started numerous fires in the area.

PBSO said Meltzer resisted arrest and threatened a deputy when he was taken into custody.

He was charged with intentionally or recklessly burning lands and resisting arrest with violence.

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