Police and fire briefs for Dec. 17, 2013

Man accused of making meth in suitcase

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Baker man Sunday afternoon on allegations he was creating methamphetamine in a suitcase hidden behind his home.

Terry S. Baggett, 35, 7134 Ruston Drive, was booked on counts of operating a clandestine lab, possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, public drinking and possession of alcohol in a BREC park.

Deputies received a tip Sunday about someone “cooking crystal methamphetamine” at the Brown Heights Park off Plank Road, according to an affidavit of probable cause. A deputy spotted Baggett at the park after 3 p.m. drinking a can of beer and noticed a partially smoked marijuana cigarette atop the picnic table.

A search of Baggett’s vehicle turned up boxes of pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, an electric blender and a clear glass smoking pipe, the affidavit says. The driver of the vehicle told the deputy those items belonged to Baggett, and that he was cooking meth at his Ruston Drive home.

The deputy went to that address and found a working lab inside a suitcase behind a shed in the backyard, the affidavit says.

“Detectives were notified and Extreme Cleaners was dispatched to the residence for cleanup of the lab,” the affidavit says.

Baggett told investigators the lab did not belong to him and he does not know how to make crystal meth, the affidavit says.

Deputies: Man chokes woman, threatens child

A 44-year-old man was arrested Monday after he allegedly choked a woman with his hands and a telephone cord Sunday, then grabbed a knife and threatened to kill her and her son.

Sheriff’s deputies booked Hector Cruz, 5222 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of domestic abuse battery/child endangerment, aggravated battery and domestic abuse/aggravated assault.

Cruz and the woman were arguing when she tried to defuse the situation by going to bed, the affidavit of probable cause says.

He grabbed her by the throat and struck her in the head with several objects, including a television remote, the affidavit says.

When her son ran into the room, Cruz grabbed a knife, placed it on her son’s throat and said he would kill them both,” the affidavit says.

He lunged at her with the knife, but she kicked him in the genitals, grabbed her son and ran out the room, the affidavit says.

Residents escape fire on Byron Street

A home on Byron Street suffered significant damage in a fire early Monday, but residents escaped unharmed, authorities said.

Firefighters arrived at 3:49 a.m. and found the kitchen of the home at 4415 Byron Street engulfed in flames, said Curt Monte, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman. The fire spread to the living room and attic before being brought under control around 4:10 a.m.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Monte said, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

Six arrested in parish on suspicion of DWI

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

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Bradley Andres, 29, 5010 Mancuso Lane, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI.
  • Michael Gonzalez, 23, 2547 Honeysuckle Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and headlights required.
  • Gary Hersom, 52, 7 Longley Drive, Harpswell, Maine, first-offense DWI, reckless operation, drinking in a motor vehicle and obstruction of a highway.
  • Roy Peoples, 21, 11255 Ida Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and careless operation.
  • Gustavo Sanchez, 27, 2113 W. Azalea Ave., Baker, first-offense DWI and careless operation.
  • Cody Tregre, 25, 3065 Iowa St., Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, operating a vehicle while license is suspended for prior offense and headlights required.

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