Investigators suspect evicted tenant in arson

Baton Rouge fire investigators suspect an evicted occupant caused a fire at a boarding home at 952 Terrace St. on Tuesday night, a fire official said.

After an altercation, the former occupant, who was not identified, “tossed some type of flammable into a front room,” Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Robert Combs said in a press release early Wednesday. “The Fire Department was originally notified of the fire by a police officer who was responding to the altercation.”

Firefighters deployed four pumper trucks, one ladder truck and two support vehicles. The fire was under control by 10:08 p.m., but several rooms and the attic were heavily damaged.

Firefighters estimate damage to the building is $30,000 and $25,000 for the building’s contents.

Police warn residents about new scam

Police warned residents Wednesday of a new scam in which people are told they won money or a car that they can claim if they purchase a Green Dot prepaid credit card, a Baton Rouge police spokesman said.

The person is told to put a specific amount of money on the card and give the caller the card number.

“The victim is told that the winnings will be delivered to their home,” Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said. “This never happens.”

McKneely said police have received several complaints from people over the past several months about this type of scam.

He said the calls mostly come from the 876 area code in Jamaica, which is known as a hotbed for phone scams and fraud.

“The callers are sophisticated con artists that prey on the elderly,” McKneely said, adding about 30,000 calls are made from Jamaica each year to scam Americans.

Anyone who is a victim of this fraud is asked to call Baton Rouge police’s Financial Crimes Division at (225) 389-3871.

Two men accused in pornography cases

Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office arrested two Baton Rouge men Tuesday accused of possessing and viewing child pornography.

Detectives arrested the two men after serving search warrants at each of their homes on Tuesday, according to affidavits of probable cause.

Anthony G. Schittone Jr., 42, 5911 Fleetwood Drive, and William J. Platt IV, 40, 448 W. Parker Blvd., Apt. 19, were both booked into Parish Prison on counts of pornography involving juveniles, booking records show.

Investigators found about 25 videos containing child pornography on a computer in Schittone’s home, an affidavit says, and he later told them he downloaded and viewed the videos.

At Platt’s home, detectives found pornographic images of children on a computer, an affidavit says.

Also, in a previous investigation, detectives were able to download 10 movies containing child pornography from a network connected to Platt’s computer, the affidavit says.

Three suspected of driving while intoxicated

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

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Joshua Fleniken, 30, 9678 Judi Ave., Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI and reckless operation.
  • Cole Gammon, 20, 12026 Oak Haven Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, reckless operation, improper lane usage and possession of Schedule IV drugs.
  • Marlon Hives, 36, 7417 Dan Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and reckless operation.

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