Martrell LaShawn Tuco, 37, of LaPlace, was arrested December 25, 2022 after he set fire to a trash dumpster near the St. John Parish 911 Communications Building in LaPlace.

On December 24, 2022, about 5 a.m., deputies were patrolling the parish government complex on West Airline Highway in LaPlace where they observed a trash dumpster on fire about 50 yards away from the entrance to the St. John 911 Communications Building. Shortly after, the St. John Parish Fire Department arrived on scene to extinguish the fire. No one was injured.

Reviewing surveillance cameras in the area, officers observed a male subject, later identified as Tuco, walking in the rear parking lot of the building toward the dumpster, lighting something near the dumpster then walking away into a nearby field. Shortly after, flames ignited from the interior of the dumpster.

Through investigation, officers developed Tuco as the suspect. Based on investigation, detectives obtained a warrant for Tuco’s arrest. Apprehending Tuco, officers discovered brass knuckles inside a pant pocket.

Tuco was booked with simple arson – uninhabited dwelling; illegal carrying of weapons (misd). Tuco is being held in custody in lieu of a $3,000 bond set by Judge Vercell Fiffie.

In September, Tuco was arrested after throwing rocks, shattering the window of a police unit in the Percy Hebert Building parking lot in LaPlace, then setting fire to a local business. He was charged with simple criminal damage to property and aggravated arson – inhabited dwelling.