1. News

Homeless man arrested after setting another man on fire

Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published Oct. 7, 2018

A homeless man was arrested Saturday after setting fire to another man from the same homeless camp.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Harold Rosenbaum Jr., 44, got into an argument just after midnight with James Heffernan, 60, inside a tent in a wooded area about 600 feet southeast of Tampa Road and Eastlake Road in Oldsmar.

The argument between Rosenbaum and Heffernan became physical.

The fight escalated outside of the tent when Rosenbaum picked up a gasoline can. A third homeless man, David Mahoney, 64, told deputies he witnessed the fight and saw Heffernan engulfed in flames. Mahoney was able to put out the fire.

Rosenbaum was arrested and faces charges of attempted murder. Heffernan was transported to a local trauma center with severe burns on 75 percent of his body. He remains in critical condition. Mahoney was also transported to a hospital with non-life threatening burns from trying to extinguish the fire. Rosenbaum was uninjured.

The investigation in ongoing.


  1. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister [CHRIS URSO | Times]
    Yes, that’s an "R" next to his name on the ballot. But if you dig deeper, Sue Carlton asks, does the sheriff bleed blue? And a follow-up: Does it matter?
  2. The projected path of Tropical Storm Nestor. National Hurricane Center
    Nestor is expected to dump two to four inches of rain in Tampa Bay, along with the threat of tornadoes.
  3. 5 hours ago• Pinellas
    Fin is Pinellas County's Pet of the Week. Friends of Strays Animal Shelter
    The 4-year-old mixed breed is available for adoption at Friends of Strays Animal Shelter
  4. A semi-trailer truck fell onto an SUV on Interstate 4 on Friday night after a reported tornado touched down and crossed the highway near Lakeland. No one was injured. Times
    Powerful winds caused damage and power loss but no injuries in Pinellas County. In Polk County, I-4 drivers were fortunate no one was injured when a tornado crosses the interstate.
  5. The Florida Department of Transportation is installing lights on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as part of a $15 million project. During tests this weekend, engineers will illuminate the bridge in a pink hue to commemorate breast cancer awareness month. Courtesy of Florida Department of Transportation
    The Florida Department of Transportation is lighting up the span this weekend to commemorate breast cancer awareness month.
  6. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The 63-year-old crossing guard was hospitalized, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
  7. Amber Perera looks out at the courtroom audience during her sentencing hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Perera caused a fatal crash on the Selmon Expressway in Tampa in August, 10, 2017 that killed Rita and Luiz Felipak and their 8-year-old daughter Giorgia Felipak. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    Amber Perera is responsible for the 2017 crash that killed a family of three. She hopes to avoid a life sentence. The judge is still deciding.
  8. Tampa Bay Lighting host a watch party on the beach at the Tradewinds resort on St. Pete Beach in February. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    TradeWinds is the biggest resort in Pinellas County.