Dordogne: an arsonist, former firefighter, arrested by witnesses

These residents may have helped to avoid a tragedy. A man who was trying to set fire to a cornfield in the Dordogne was stopped in his action by witnesses, then arrested by the gendarmerie, Saturday evening, in Montpon-Ménestérol (Dordogne), where repeated fires were observed. those last weeks.

Young women traveling by car and a local resident apprehended the suspect, a former volunteer firefighter, before calling the gendarmerie. A patrol, which nearby, intervened and was able to arrest “smoothly” the defendant who was then in a state of intoxication, according to these same sources.

This individual was placed in a drunk tank before being heard in police custody by the investigators. This was to be extended on Sunday evening, said the public prosecutor in Périgueux Solène Belaouar, specifying that the defendant is “a resident of the area, a former volunteer firefighter”.

The local resident who prevented the alleged arsonist from fleeing filmed the scene. In this video, posted on social networks, we see the suspect, dressed in black shorts and a white polo shirt, who tries with one hand to hide his face.

Other fires to his credit?

At the beginning of August, several dozen fires broke out “almost daily” in this sector of the Double forest, on the borders of the departments of Dordogne and Gironde, according to the prosecution. Repeated fires that have fueled suspicions about their origin and cause anxiety among the local population.

“At this stage, we don’t know if it’s a single fact or if it will allow us to trace a series of facts. It’s premature, we’ll have to study telephony (of the suspect), his schedule, ”said the prosecutor. At the start of the week, a young man suspected of being an arsonist was placed in police custody and then released a few hours later and “exempted at this stage”, according to the magistrate.

The person or persons likely to light fires are sought by the police in the department, as well as in the south of neighboring Charente, where 16 almost simultaneous fire starts were also declared on Thursday. The fire, which covered 350 ha, was declared declared this Sunday by the prefecture.

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