BRPD: Man killed in accidental shooting

A Baton Rouge man was arrested after he accidentally pulled the trigger of a handgun he was unloading in the predawn hours Saturday, killing Carl Joseph James Jr., police said.

James was driving an SUV in the 8300 block of Scotland Avenue, between Scenic Highway and Swan Avenue, about 3 a.m. when he stopped at a red light, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

In the back seat behind James, Tyrell King, 21, 3032 Potomac Drive, was unloading a handgun when he accidentally pulled the trigger once, shooting James, 27, 10940 Williams Drive, Maringouin, in the back, McKneely said.

James stumbled out of the car, then fell to the ground in the median as the other five people in the SUV waited for paramedics, McKneely said. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives arrested King and booked him into Parish Prison on counts of negligent homicide and illegal use of a weapon, McKneely said.

Police are unsure why King had the gun out, McKneely said, adding King and the other four witnesses all told the same story about the gun accidentally going off.

McKneely said it will be up to prosecutors and a judge decide if King should be tried on negligent homicide or any other charges.

“He shouldn’t have had the gun out,” McKneely said.

Fan motor sparks fire at Arzi’s on Highland Road

A fan motor in a Highland Road restaurant caught fire around 10 p.m. on Friday, sending smoke into the attics of three adjacent businesses, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department said.

Arzi’s Greek & Lebanese Cafe, 7329 Highland Road, was closed when a fan in the kitchen’s back corner sparked a fire that shot flames through the building’s roof, said Mark Miles, the spokesman.

No one was injured, and firefighters limited the fire damage. The total loss of property is estimated at $60,000.

Teen accused of filming sex act in EBR library

Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested a 17-year-old boy in the filming of two teenagers who were having sex in a public library last month then posting that video to Facebook.

Donovann Tyrelle Gordon told police the 13-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl knew he was filming them at the Greenwell Springs Library on June 12, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Deputies did not know about the video until Wednesday.

Gordon, of 9422 Glennsade Ave., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on Thursday on counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, booking records show.

Man accused of inciting riot, resisting arrest

A Baton Rouge man wielding brass knuckles tried to get a crowd of up to 40 people to start a fight on Thursday after he threatened a woman outside her Scotland Road home, police say.

Police arrived on the scene just as 18-year-old Kyle Hills was walking toward the woman who was standing in front of her home at 10666 Scotland Road with her two children, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Hills was in an argument with several women, and about 40 people had gathered around them, including many small children, the affidavit says.

When police tried to talk to Hills, he ran away, spat on officers as they handcuffed him and threatened to sue everyone who was there while officers put him in the back of a police car, the affidavit says.

Hills, of 324 Blount Road, was booked into Parish Prison on Friday on counts of terrorizing, inciting a riot, resisting an officer, battery of an officer and public intimidation.

Florida woman booked in stolen check case

Police say they have arrested a Boca Raton, Florida, woman who helped cash stolen checks after a string of Baton Rouge car burglaries by the Florida-based “Felony Lane Gang” in February.

When April Blakely tried to cash a stolen check on Feb. 15 at Regions Bank on Plank Road, Deanna Pittillo, 27, was driving the car that Blakely left in, the arrest warrant for Pittilo says. She was arrested on Thursday.

The Felony Lane Gang is known for stealing wallets and purses from cars, then recruiting women to cash checks from the stolen checkbooks, police said. Three self-proclaimed members of the Florida Lane Gang were arrested in connection with the Baton Rouge string of burglaries in April.

On June 20, a sheriff’s deputy in Palm Beach County, Florida, contacted Baton Rouge authorities when he saw Blakely’s photo on Crime Stoppers and connected Pittillo to the incidents in Baton Rouge, the warrant says. The deputy said both women got into legal trouble frequently.

Pittillo, of 10569 Marina Way, Boca Raton, Florida, was booked into Parish Prison on Thursday for a host of burglary and theft counts, including identity theft and attempted bank fraud.

BR smoke shop owner arrested again in raid

The owner of a Baton Rouge smoke shop awaiting trial on charges of selling synthetic marijuana from a March raid was arrested again Saturday morning after sheriff’s deputies swept into his Hewwood Avenue store June 10 and found more of the harmful drug.

Narcotics detectives got a tip about employees at the Fun Time Novelty Smoke Shop at 15959 Hewwood Ave., Suite D, selling fake marijuana and went in for a controlled buy, according to an arrest warrant.

The store is owned by Demond Untray Eames, 40, who has been charged with possession with intent to distribute and manufacturing of Schedule I drugs after Baton Rouge police raided the business in March and found one of his products, Plumb Stupid, was synthetic marijuana.

On June 10, the Sheriff’s Office detective bought one pack of TNT Dynamite and turned it over for testing at the State Police Crime Lab, the warrant says.

The tests came back positive two days later for a banned chemical compound, the warrant says. Deputies obtained a search warrant that same day, performed a second controlled buy on the same TNT Dynamite, then raided the business.

They detained four people inside, found a .22-caliber Glock handgun reported stolen in Ascension Parish, almost $1,200 in cash and more than 21 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids, the warrant says.

Two people arrested in the raid — Khatara Smith, 24, and Vangades Chew, 39 — have been charged with conspiracy in the selling of the synthetic cannabinoids.

Eames, 9262 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison early Saturday on counts of possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana, distribution of synthetic marijuana, possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a stolen firearm.

Candle blamed for Eleanor Drive blaze

A candle placed too close to a bed set off a small fire Saturday that engulfed a bedroom in a home on Eleanor Drive, Baton Rouge Fire Department officials said.

Baton Rouge firefighters were called out to 4028 Eleanor at 2:39 p.m. and had the flames out about 15 minutes later, before the fire could spread to other parts of the house, department spokesman Curt Monte said.

One person was inside the home when the fire broke out but was not injured, Monte said. The rest of the home received smoke damage.

12 people booked on suspicion of DWI in EBR

Authorities arrested at least 12 people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Brennan Barbee, 23, 8863 Larchwood Drive, Dallas, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and turn required.
  • Timothy Batt, 28, 5243 Arlington Court, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, driving left of center, improper turn and reckless operation.
  • Deborah Borado, 62, 11891 Plank Road, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and failure to maintain control.
  • Charles Brooks, 18, 10212 Winterhue Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, disobeying a red light and stop sign/yield sign violation.
  • Joseph Bunch, 35, 1746 Mast Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, driver’s license required, improper lane usage and disobeying a red light.
  • Lukas Fielding, 23, 5331 Herridge Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, speeding and improper lane usage.
  • Jonathan Fields, 19, 11633 Stan Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, disobeying a control device and reckless operation.
  • Christopher Johnson, 24, 4220 Prescott Road, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, driver’s license suspended/revoked, possession of alcohol in vehicle and seat belt violation.
  • Kyle Johnston, 24, 1121 Quinn St., Jackson, Mississippi, first-offense DWI and disobeying a control device.
  • Laura Norman, 24, 1724 S. Brightside View Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, disobeying a control device and reckless operation.
  • Sharon Tyson, 52, 59875 Sexton Drive, Plaquemine, first-offense DWI and headlights required.
  • Christopher Waller, 25, 1002 Shilo Drive, Baker, first-offense DWI, drinking in a motor vehicle, driver’s license not in possession, following too close, improper lane usage, failure to yield at a left turn, insurance required and reckless operation.

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