A jilted boyfriend has admitted to brazenly assaulting his former girlfriend
and another woman by dousing a golf cart with gasoline and setting it on fire while the women were still inside the vehicle, police said Friday.
Austin Michael Puddy, 19, of Aster Ridge Trail, Peachtree City ,was unhappy about the pair’s recent break-up, and he confronted the victim on a cart path behind 576 Crosstown Court Oct. 17, said Peachtree City Police Capt. Rosanna Dove.
At least one of the victims suffered minor injuries and both victims’ clothes had singe marks from the blaze, Dove said. The victims were able to escape the golf cart before it became engulfed in flames, Dove said.
Puddy is currently serving a year on probation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he pled guilty to that charge Sept. 16 when State Court prosecutors dropped a misdemenaor charge of statutory rape relating to a 15-year-old victim. Puddy was arrested on that offense back in February.
Puddy remains in the Fayette County Jail pending a bond hearing for the golf cart assault case, officials said. Puddy has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of first degree arson, making a terroristic threat or act and criminal damage to property in the second degree.
The golf cart was completely destroyed by the fire, but when police and firefighters first arrived they were led to believe the golf cart had somehow sparked to cause the fire, Dove said.
The girls did not come forward about the assault at the time likely because Puddy had remained on the scene, as they later admitted they were scared to tell police what had really happened, Dove said.
Days later police were told that the fire was intentionally set by Puddy, who was subsequently interviewed and confessed to taking a bottle of gasoline and dousing the golf cart during the confrontation, using a lighter to start the fire, Dove said.
Police have also collected the victims’ clothing which had singe marks, Dove said.