Five buses torched at repair shop Saturday

Five empty buses were torched when one empty church bus suddenly caught fire while awaiting repairs on Saturday afternoon, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived at a repair shop near Greenwell Springs Road and Victoria Drive just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday to find the bus, which could seat about 25 people, engulfed in flames, said Curt Monte, a Fire Department spokesman. The fire already had spread to two nearby charter buses that could seat about 50 people each, and by the time firefighters quelled the flames, three vehicles were burned and two were damaged.

No one was injured in the incident. Investigators have not yet determined the cause. Anyone with new information in the incident may call Baton Rouge fire investigators at (225) 354-1419.

Eight arrested, suspected of DWI

Authorities arrested at least eight people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Austin Bailey, 20, 17200 La. 431, Prairieville, first-offense DWI, driver’s license not on person, possession of alcohol in vehicle, public bribery, hit-and-run, resisting an officer, driver’s license suspended/revoked and reckless operation.
  • Matthew Diez, 35, 1942 Terrace St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, headlights required and reckless operation.
  • Jeremy Johnson, 20, 6204 Biscayne St., Baker, first-offense DWI, driving over the median and reckless operation.
  • Thomas Johnson, 22, 3204 Valentine Road, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, drinking in a motor vehicle, reckless operation, disobeying a control device and disobeying a red light.
  • Joseph Koczrowski, 32, 25590 John L. Lane, Denham Springs, second-offense DWI and reckless operation.
  • Frank Magne, 26, 4445 Demontluzin St., New Orleans, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and disobeying a control device.
  • Floyd Pace, 52, 14215 Locust Ave., Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, disobeying a red light, improper turns, drinking in a motor vehicle and reckless operation.
  • Richard Rivers, 30, 7250 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI and reckless operation.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.