JANUARY 14, 2002
TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR AGGRAVATED ARSON
On Friday, (January 11, 2002) shortly after 5:00 A.M., the ThibodauxPolice Department responded to a call of a fire in front of a neighbor’sapartment at the Plantation Plaza Apartments located at 300 Plantation Road. When Officers arrived, they made contact with the apartment resident, whohappened to arrive home around the time of the call.
According to a report, the victim told Officers thatwhile visiting a friend around 4:30a.m., she received a call on her cell phonefrom her ex-roommate, Brandon Berthelot. The victim stated that she allowed afriend to answer her cell phone. Atthat time, her friend allegedly told Berthelot that she was not there, but wasat her own residence instead. Thevictim stated that she did return home shortly thereafter, and discovered firedamage to her front door and that her mailbox had been ripped apart. The victimreported that the fire was not active when she arrived, but still smoking. Thevictim reportedly suspected that her ex-roommate was somehow involved because ofthe phone call she received earlier.
Through further investigation, Detectives learnedthat Berthelot allegedly did go to the victim’s residence in search for her atthe time in question, but was accompanied by two other men. The two men werelater identified as Ryan A. Nuemann, 21, of 531 Highway 308, and Michael A.Maggio, 18, of 136 St. Joseph Street, both of Thibodaux. The three men reportedly exited their vehicle while at herresidence, and knocked on the door. Whenthey discovered that she was not home, Berthelot reportedly returned back to thecar and took a seat there, leaving Neumann and Maggio at her front door.
During interviews with the three men, the ThibodauxPolice Detectives, along with an agent from the Louisiana State FireMarshall’s Office discovered that a wreath on the front door was set afirecausing damage to the front door. Through further investigation into the arson,warrants were subsequently obtained for the men involved.
Maggio, who reportedly admitted to damaging themailbox, was arrest by the Thibodaux Police Department and charged with onecount of Aggravated Arson, and one count of Simple Criminal Damage to Propertywith bond set at $5500. Neumann wasarrested and charged with one count Aggravated Arson with a bond set at $5000.Both men were transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center, but werelater release on bond.
Although no one was at the victim’s residence atthe time of the fire, the adjacent apartments were occupied. There were noinjuries reported as a result of the fire. Berthelot was not charged.
Detective Sandra Brooks/ PIO