BATON ROUGE – Agents with the Louisiana Office of Forestry report that one suspect has been arrested in the arson investigation regarding numerous wildfires on Olon Bankston Road in Kentwood, LA.
On May 2, agents obtained four arrest warrants for thirty-two-year-old John Grady Davidson related to arson. On May 3, forestry agents and deputies from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) observed Davidson’s vehicle on Highway 1054 near Highway 16 in Amite, LA. Through further investigation, agents learned Davidson was previously in the vehicle but fled on foot prior to the vehicle stopping along the dark roadway.
On June 2, deputies with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office located John Grady Davidson. Davidson was taken into custody and transported to the TPSO Jail for booking on unrelated charges. Forestry agents arrived at the jail and booked Davidson on the four outstanding felony warrants for Simple Arson.
“Arson is a very serious crime. Unintentionally starting a fire or worse, deliberately setting a fire, during a drought like much of South Louisiana is experiencing could have wide and catastrophic repercussions,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “LDAF enforcement agents take agriculture and forestry-related crimes seriously, and they will seek justice when individuals break the law.”
If convicted, Davidson could face fines up to five hundred dollars or more, shall be fined not more than fifteen thousand dollars, and imprisoned at hard labor for not more than fifteen years.
Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The public is urged to report any and all forestry-related crimes to the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323.