Police and fire briefs for July 12, 2013

Fire destroys Stern Avenue apartments

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a Thursday morning fire that destroyed an apartment building on Stern Avenue.

St. George and Baton Rouge Fire Department firefighters were dispatched to 8282 Stern Ave. at 2:17 a.m., St. George Fire Department spokesman Eldon Ledoux said.

Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the building’s attic vents when they arrived and the blaze broke through the roof shortly after they entered the building.

One of the four apartments in the building appeared to be occupied, but no one was home and there were no injuries.

The building was a total loss with heavy roof collapse, Ledoux said. The fire was declared under control at 3:46 a.m.

Man booked on child pornography counts

A registered sex offender accused of downloading about 1,000 images of child pornography was arrested Wednesday.

John Tucker, 48, 1583 Chevelle Drive, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison with pornography involving juveniles, parish prison records show.

The images Tucker is accused of downloading were of children as young as infants and as old as 4 years old being raped, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Tucker told authorities he downloaded the images by mistake.

Fire damages house on Briarhurst Drive

Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a Thursday morning house fire at 1026 Briarhurst Drive that broke through the attic above the home and burned through a third of the roof.

The call came in at 6:13 a.m. and firefighters arrived and found the carport and attic above it on fire, St. George Fire Department spokesman Eldon Ledoux said.

The fire, which appears to have originated under the carport, caused extensive damage, Ledoux said. The cause is under investigation. There were no injuries. The fire was under control by 6:47 a.m.

Blaze damages house on Government St.

Firefighters say an electrical malfunction in the laundry room of a residence at 6452 Government St. appears to have sparked a blaze Thursday evening that caused an estimated $70,000 in damage.

Curt Monte, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman, said the home’s owner noticed smoke shortly after starting she started her dryer Thursday evening.

No one was injured during the blaze, Monte said, and firefighters were able to rescue three family pets — two cats and an iguana.

Firefighters arrived at 7:01 p.m., four minutes after receiving an emergency call, and found the laundry room engulfed in flames. The fire soon spread to the kitchen but was then put out by firefighters in about 10 minutes, Monte said.

Other areas of the house also received smoke and water damage, Monte said.

Police arrest man after foot pursuit

A 19-year-old man is accused of shoving his bicycle toward a Baton Rouge police officer and hitting him with it during a brief foot pursuit late Wednesday night.

Montrell Griffin, 19, 1116 N. 35th St., Baton Rouge, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of battery of a police officer, resisting an officer and possession of marijuana, prison records show.

The chase began after the officer approached a group of people, including Griffin, standing near a store in the 1400 block of North Acadian Thruway West, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Griffin then dropped a small plastic baggie from his pocket — which police later determined held marijuana — and pushed the bicycle toward the approaching officer. The bike hit the officer in the foot and caused him to lose his balance, the affidavit says.

After a short pursuit, the officer caught Griffin on North 32nd Street.

Nine people booked with DWI in EBR

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

Those booked and the counts against them:

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