A Suwannee County couple were arrested recently after a dispute escalated into attempted arson and child abuse, according to the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.

Shawn Leitch, 34, CR 250, was arrested on charges of attempted arson, burglary while armed, grand theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Leitch’s girlfriend, Crystal Lynn Frick, 33, same address, was charged with battery domestic violence and child abuse.

Records show that around 4 a.m. Jan. 22, the victim, Frick’s stepfather, awoke and discovered that Leitch was standing in his bedroom. The victim told authorities that after Leitch left the room, he could not go back to sleep so he got up to let his dogs go outside. When he opened his dresser drawer to get his cigarettes, he found they were missing. He then went into the living room to ask Leitch if he had taken them but was told by Frick’s son that Leitch had gone outside.

Reports state that the stepfather then confronted Leitch about taking his cigarettes which Leitch denied any involvement. Thinking that he might have placed his cigarettes in a different drawer, the victim returned to his bedroom and realized that a .45 caliber handgun was also missing from his dresser. The victim told authorities that when he confronted Leitch about the handgun, Leitch said that he had been out at the shop working on his bicycle.

The victim told authorities that he thought that Leitch may have hidden the gun in his shop, so he and his grandson went out to the shop to search for the weapon. When he opened the door, the victim discovered his shop was full of smoke. The victim told deputies there were several Sterno fuel cans in his taxidermy trophy room up against several trophy displays. Although not on fire, the trophy display was smoking, reports show.

After removing the cans, the victim returned to the house and confronted Leitch.

After the victim called 911, Frick reportedly balled up her fist and punched her son in the back and calling him a “f***ing narc” because he had told the victim about the incident. Although Frick left no marks on the child, according to reports, the grandfather witnessed the blow and saw that it caused the child to fall into a door and go to his knees.

Authorities say that Frick admitted to pushing the child and calling him what she did. She then told authorities that it was her kid and she could do what she wanted to him and call him what she wanted to including “a retard.”

When authorities questioned Leitch, he led them to a wooded area next to the house where he had thrown a .22 caliber revolver, along with .22 caliber ammunition, which was inside a tube sock. The revolver was determined to belong to the victim’s mother, who lives next door. She told authorities that she had been missing the gun for a few months and thought she had misplaced it.

Leitch stated that he had found the gun and was scared, so he threw it into the woods.

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