Suspect in Kentwood arson arrested June 2


BATON ROUGE — A Kentwood man has been arrested on arson charges in connection with an investigation of numerous wildfires on Olon Bankston Road in Kentood, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF) Office of Forestry.

John Grady Davidson, 32, of Kentwood, was arrested Thursday, June 2, 2022, by Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office deputies and booked into the parish jail on unrelated charges, according to LDAF investigators. LDAF agents had obtained four arrest warrants for Davidson on May 2 and have been searching for him since. Four outstanding felony warrants for simple arson were added to the charges.

On May 3, the forestry agents and TPSO deputies found Davidson's vehicle on La. 1054 near La. 16 in Amite. Investigators learned Davidson had been in his vehicle but had fled on foot. When TPSO deputies discovered the outstanding warrants the arson charges were added.

“Arson is a very serious crime. Unintentionally starting a fire or worse, deliberately setting a fire, during a drought like much of South Louisiana is experiencing could have wide and catastrophic repercussions,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain. “LDAF enforcement agents take agriculture and forestry-related crimes seriously, and they will seek justice when individuals break the law.”

If convicted, Davidson could face fines up to five hundred dollars or more, shall be fined not more than $15,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 15 years.

Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The public is urged to report any and all forestry-related crimes to the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323.