Police accuse BR man of arson, terrorizing estranged girlfriend _lowres

Derrick Jones

A Baton Rouge man estranged from his girlfriend is in jail after he threatened to kill her and her family via text messages before setting fire to her apartment Saturday morning, displacing all 19 residents, police and fire officials reported.

Derrick T. Jones, 35, 5260 Osborne Avenue, Baton Rouge, however, didn’t stop there, following the girlfriend to a local hotel on Sunday morning where the Red Cross was putting her up. At the hotel, Jones proceeded to slash her tires, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The girlfriend contacted Baton Rouge Police about the slashed tires. An officer responded and was taking the girlfriend to a new location, but en route, she spotted Jones following them, the affidavit says.

Police then stopped Jones and he was booked Sunday afternoon in Parish Prison on counts of aggravated arson, terrorizing, stalking and aggravated burglary. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Authorities said the weekend ordeal began when Jones entered the estranged girlfriend’s apartment Saturday morning at 11641 Sherwood Hollow Court, damaging her possessions, including a large flat screen TV, before setting fire to her bedroom.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 10:28 a.m. Saturday and had it under control 12 minutes later. The fire forced the evacuation of the residents of all four units, causing damage to the unit where the fire was set as well as the unit above, and water damage to two adjacent units, said Curt Monte, a spokesman for the fire department.

Monte said the fire department has been working with the police department on the investigation.