Police and fire briefs for July 24, 2013

BR man accused of beating boy with belt

A 25-year-old Baton Rouge man was arrested Tuesday morning in the beating of a 6-year-old boy who has lived with him for a year with a belt and kicking him in the stomach.

Baton Rouge police booked Tasmine Njoku, 4028 Chippewa St., into Parish Prison on counts of cruelty to a juvenile, prison records show.

A witness told police she saw Njoku take the boy into a room, heard a beating and saw several cuts on the child’s head, neck and face when he came out of the room, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The boy told police Njoku struck him in the head and neck with a belt and belt buckle several times, then kicked him twice in the stomach. The victim suffered minor swelling to his left eye, a contusion to his right eye and at least three cuts to his head and neck.

Njoku was open with police about beating the child for urinating on himself, the affidavit states.

Fire damages houses on W. Fairlane Court

A fire that started in a sport utility vehicle spread to two houses on West Fairlane Court on Tuesday morning, causing almost $150,000 in damage before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

District 6 Fire Chief Joel Hancock said investigators have not yet determined the cause of the SUV fire, but added that the circumstances surrounding the fire are suspicious.

District 6 firefighters arrived at 6045 W. Fairlane at 3:14 a.m. and found the fire had spread from the SUV to the house, Hancock said.

The house was fully engulfed, resulting in a total loss, before spreading to the neighboring house at 6063 W. Fairlane, resulting in attic and bedroom damage to that dwelling.

Three people were in each house, but no one was injured.

Firefighters from the East Side, Central and Baton Rouge fire departments assisted District 6.

Authorities arrest 6 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. Monday and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Gary Bernard, 23, 4345 Spur Lane, Baker, first-offense DWI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, speeding, improper lane usage and reckless operation.
  • Joshua Bruggers, 22, 4600 Burbank Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, possession of marijuana, headlights required and reckless operation.
  • Ryan Dees, 23, 17084 E. Willow St., Prairieville, second-offense DWI and improper lane usage.
  • Kristen Mannear, 25, 24 Ormond Place, Destrehan, second-offense DWI and one-way street violation.
  • Phillip Newton, 56, 2829 Everett St., Jackson, first-offense DWI and improper lane usage.
  • Isaac Winfield, 30, 12525 Parkhill Court, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, careless operation, driver’s license expired and disobeying a red light.

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