Three arrested in fire investigation

Published 11:02 am Thursday, March 5, 2009

Three Greene County men have been arrested as part of an investigation into two suspicious fires reported early Thursday morning.

According to Demopolis Police chief Tommie Reese, the incidents began with a domestic altercation.

“Early that morning, there was an incident at 129 Rainbow Circle,” Reese said. “A person, Joe Davis, pulled a gun and is alleged to have fired a shot. When officers arrived at the scene, he was gone. Apparently, he and others went back to Greene County and got some more guns to come back and do some more damage over here.”

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Reese said that when the group came back into town, they found a vehicle near 314 N. Cedar Ave. that belonged to one of the Rainbow Circle victims and set it on fire.

“That was to be a diversion for the officers to go to that location,” Reese said.

“As our officers were going to that location, one of our officers spotted a car going back to the Rainbow Circle area. We stopped him, detained him and found guns in the car.”

Davis, 23, of Forkland was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm in an occupied building and criminal mischief (first degree).

Also arrested were Alonzo Winters, 26, of Forkland and James Green, 19, of Forkland, who were each charged with criminal mischief (first degree).

A suspicious fire at a trailer at the intersection of Ash and Monroe streets at about 5 a.m. that morning — just five blocks from the scene of the car fire — is also under investigation.

“The Demopolis Police Department’s crime scene technician was called in to investigate,” said Lt. Chris Foster of the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department.

A Demopolis firefighter was injured at the trailer fire, receiving second-degree burns to his ear.

DFRD chief Ronnie Few said the firefighter is expected to recover and report back to duty soon.

“I want to send a formal message that we are not going to tolerate these types of actions in the city of Demopolis, period,” Reese said.

“I want to commend the Demopolis Police Department, especially Officer James Jones, for being very observant, to be on the lookout for this vehicle coming back in. Had it not been for him being so observant, we could have had a major situation here.”

The Demopolis Police Department is seeking other suspects in its ongoing investigation.