• Deputies: Man driving General Lee-like car leads deputies on chase after setting home ablaze

    By: Jason Kelly


    MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A former jockey led deputies on a chase through two counties in a car painted like the General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard" television show Tuesday evening after setting his ex-wife's home on fire, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

    Firefighters said they were called shortly after 7 p.m. to a burning home on Southwest 103rd Loop near Southwest 62nd Avenue and Southwest 103rd Street roads.

    Investigators said the ex-wife of Oswald Pereira, 44, called them to report that he poured fuel on her dining room table and threatened to light the home on fire.


    Deputies said Pereira was seen running away from the home with his pants on fire.

    Investigators said they chased Pereira on the ground and by air through Marion and Levy counties. They said he ditched the car, drove away in an SUV and ran into a mobile home before being arrested.

    Pereira was burned in the fire and remains hospitalized, investigators said.

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    Pereira faces charges of fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, assault on an officer, reckless driving and contempt of court for violating a domestic violence injunction.

    Investigators said they determined the cause of the fire to be arson. They said Pereira is suspected of arson, but the State Fire Marshal must determine whether he will be charged with it.

    Residents told Channel 9 that they had seen the car speeding through their neighborhood in the past.

    The Sheriff's Office said it will release aerial footage of the pursuit.

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    No other details were given.

    The incident remains under investigation.

    Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story.

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