From the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office
A Garvin County Sheriff’s deputy was assaulted during the arrest of Kelsey Lea Swinford, age 41, in a suspected arson six miles south and seven miles west of Maysville in rural Garvin County.
Deputy Jared Martinez had observed a large fire at 12:59 a.m. on Wednesday, February 20, at about the same time a 911 call was received from Swinford reporting the same fire.
As the deputy arrived, he saw Swinford driving a 2019 Dodge Ram truck into the sides of a burning hay barn.
After contacting the owner of the barn, who is the mother of Swinford, the deputy suspected the fire may have been intentionally set.
Martinez began to interview Swinford regarding her actions at the fire scene. In response, Swinford struck the deputy by pushing on his chest. She then tried to hit Martinez with her fist and then tried to escape on foot but was apprehended a short distance away.
While being placed in a sheriff’s vehicle, the deputy was kicked and head butted by Swinford.
Neither the deputy nor Swinford was injured.
The investigation at the scene determined fuel may have been used as an accelerant and that Swinford was trying to push holes into the sides of the barn to supply more oxygen to the fire.
Motivation for the arson is believed to stem from a dispute between Swinford and her mother over the use of the hay barn and farmland.
Swinford recently made comments she wanted the owner of the hay to stop using her mother’s property.
Swinford was upset that she could not use the property to financially back a recent $6.24 million dollar purchase she made of significant surface and mineral rights in south central Oklahoma, which failed.
At the time of her arrest Swinford was out of the Oklahoma County jail after posting bond on a domestic assault and the assault upon a Bethany police officer during that recent arrest earlier this month.
Additionally, two arson fires in the last few days in Oklahoma City metro area are currently under investigation and they have been linked to Swinford.
Swinford was charged for Third Degree Arson, Malicious Injury to Property and Assault and Battery on Police Officer following an arraignment Wednesday afternoon.
Assisting the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office were the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bethany Police Department and the Lindsay Fire Department.