The smell of smoke in downtown Baton Rouge Wednesday evening led to the discovery of a dumpster fire and ended with a man’s arrest.
Paul Wayne Bordelon, 58, was spotted by a deputy who was working an overtime shift at St. James Episcopal Church in the 200 block of North 4th Street around 7:30 p.m., according to a Baton Rouge Fire Department affidavit of probable cause.
The deputy tried to approach Bordelon, who walked away from him and made a few turns on downtown streets, according to the report. Bordelon disappeared from the officer’s sight near North 5th Street, the document says.
When the officer returned to his post near the church, he smelled smoke and noticed a metal dumpster on fire, according to the statement. The deputy alerted fire authorities to the blaze.
Later, around 9 p.m., the deputy observed Bordelon at North 5th and Convention Streets, the document says. The officer discovered a cardboard box on fire nearby, and after kicking it aside, notified authorities.
Bordelon, of the 800 block of Roosevelt Street, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of simple arson.
He is a suspect in a string of dumpster and porta-potty fires around downtown in recent days, said Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte.
There were 10 calls about the vandalism between Sunday and Monday mornings, Monte said.
Anyone with information may call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP.