SHS ponders proceeding with celebration
On Monday, September 8, 2008 at 2:35 a.m. the Slidell Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Fire District One received a 911 call that Slidell High School’s Press Box was on fire.
When police and fire units arrived on the scene they discovered that the Press Box was fully engulfed in fire. While Fire personnel extinguished the fire, Slidell Police Officers checked the entire school grounds for any other signs of break-ins, fire or criminal damage, finding none.
Investigators from both the Police and Fire Departments responded and began their investigation. After the fire was determined to have been deliberately set, Investigators first spoke with the person who called 911 and he told investigators that he saw two subjects park a white Chevy P/U, near the school and enter the school grounds. The witness thought the two were going to run on the school’s track. A while later he saw the two subjects leave in the same truck in an unknown direction. A short time later he heard a loud bang come from the school and when he exited his home he saw the Press Box on fire and immediately called 911.
Investigators were able to locate a piece of evidence on the scene which led them to a local convenience store. There they were able to locate a credit card sales receipt with the name of Michael D. West; the clerk was also able to give a description of a vehicle that West was riding in, which matched the same given by the witness. Investigators then went to the home of West and interviewed him. During the interview West admitted to setting the fire. West told investigators that he first broke into the Press Box and was causing damage to it’s interior when they started to light pieces of paper on fire, when the fire got out of control they left. West did not give investigators any further motive for the crime. Investigators are continuing to investigate the incident and expect at least one more arrest to be made in the case.
Arrested Subject: Michael D. West age 20 of 112 Wellington Lane, Slidell, LA was arrested and charged with Simple Arson. West was booked at Slidell PD and transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail where bond was set at $20,000
UPDATE: Second Arrest
On Monday, September 8th at 3:00 p.m.18 year old Dylan Farmer the second suspect in the Press Box Fire was arrested at his place of employment.
Farmer admitted to his involvement with the fire and when asked why he did it, he stated “I was drunk and not in a position to do anything”
Arrested Subject: Dylan Farmer, age 18 of 1324 Greenlawn, Slidell, LA was arrested and booked with Simple Arson; Farmer will be transferred to the St. Tammany Parish Jail where bond will be set.
Investigators do not anticipate any more arrest in the case.
PIO: Captain Kevin Foltz 985-290-0767