White accused of starting a fire where children were sleeping

A Bastrop man is in custody, charged with setting a fire in a home where children were sleeping.

Demario White was arrested Saturday after the Bastrop Police Department, along with the Bastrop Fire Department were dispatched to a Collinston Road residence Saturday for a what appeared to be arson.

Fire fighters called in State Fire Marshall, Rick Abbot, according to chief Eric Montgomery. Abbot was able to determine an accelerant had been used and the fire had been deliberately started under the children's bedroom.

Det. Eric Newnum, with the BPD, joined Abbot in the investigation and both questioned the family of five who reside at the home.

“The family was able to tell the investigators that Demario White was more than likely the suspect,” Montgomery said.

According to the affidavit, an iPhone app was used to locate White on Hwy. 139 near Collinston Road, headed toward Monroe.

“Lt. Abbot and I located White at his residence in Monroe,” Newnum wrote on the affidavit. “After being advised of his rights per Miranda, White first denied having been in Bastrop.”

The affidavit read that White stated he had came to Bastrop to visit a friend and drove by the 152 Collinston Road residence. White never confirmed nor denied starting the fire, only stating he never wanted to hurt children.

The affidavit read that Abbot had gained information that White had gotten a gas with gas in it, before coming to Bastrop.

White was then placed under arrest and placed in handcuffs with a double lock, checked for tightness, the affidavit read. White was then placed in the back seat of the Newnum's unit for transport.

While in route back to Bastrop on Hwy. 139, White attempted to exit the vehicle through the rear driver side door, Newnum wrote in the report. He sated he was able to grab White and pull him back in the car. He then stopped the unit and place White back in the car.

“I asked him why he tried to get out o the car and he stated he was trying to get comfortable,” Newnum wrote.

Because White had partially hit the roadway, Medlife Ambulance was contacted, the affidavit read. White sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from Morehouse General Hospital. He was taken to the Morehouse Parish Jail and booked in. His charges are aggravated arson with a bond of $75,000 and attempted simple escape which carries a bond of $15,000.