28 December 2012

rpso: sufficient probable cause established arrest in rigolette bridge & serial arsonist case

For Release to the Media
FM: Lt. T. Carnline RPSO
DTD: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 09:59
SUBJ:Arson Arrest in Rigolette Bridge Fire of Last Year

During the early morning hours of March 26th 2011, the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office received a complaint that the bridge spanning Rigolette Bayou located on Rigolette Road in Tioga was on fire.

Local fire personnel were able to put out the fire, but due to extensive damage it created, the bridge was closed for public safety.

R.P.S.O. Detectives in conjunction with investigators of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office immediately began an investigation into the incident as it was believed the fire was the result of an arsonist.

Various leads were followed up, but none led to an arrest up until now.

In November of this year, R.P.S.O. Detectives received information relating to multiple structure fires in the Tioga area, which included the Rigolette Bridge and two uninhabited residences located on Hollowdale Drive.

Detectives re-opened the original investigations and were able to establish sufficient probable cause that twenty-three year old Trenton Lloyd Malone was the main suspect in each of the fires.

As a result, warrants were granted for Malone’s arrest for Three Counts of Simple Arson Over $500.

On December 27th 2012, Deputies located Malone at a residence in the Alexandria area.

He was advised of the warrants and taken into custody without incident.

Trenton Lloyd Malone of 144 Hollowdale Drive, Tioga, LA, was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail, where he is currently being held in lieu of a $300,000.00 bond.

Detectives say their investigation is still ongoing and additional arrests may be forth coming.

If you or someone you know has any information relating to these fires please contact Detective Jonathan Treadway at the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Tioga Sub Station (318) 640-6000, R.P.S.O. Main Office (318) 473-6700, or Crime Stoppers (318) 443-7867.

"Whenever a case goes cold, you always keep it in the back of your mind and then one day, one piece of evidence or information comes up and our detectives got right back on this case and solved it with an arrest" said Sheriff William Earl Hilton.

in light of the recent christmas day 2012 tornadoes which wrought much devastation to parts of central louisiana such as the garden district in alexandria and parts of tioga, ball & rigolette that after reading the press release a couple of questions came to mind.

is this bridge reopened?

what role if any did this bridge arson mischief play in hampering the responders getting to this neighborhood?

so we emailed lieutenant carnline to ask if the bridge was reopened (we figured he would know if the sheriff's office was able to patrol this area) and was he aware of any reports linking this 2011 mischief with hampering this storm's first responders and clean up crews?

he replied:

I checked with the Police Jury and the bridge was re-opened in the spring of this [2012] year. The only thing that hampered response to the devastation by the tornado’s were the trees in the roadway.