|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - July 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Officer praised for averting major fire
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Quick action by a Trinity police officer was being credited with possibly saving a life and averting a major downtown fire. Office Travis Bryant spotted the fire at about 1:41 a.m. Monday, July 12, at the Fashion Sense Boutique located on Robb Street (Highway 19) in Trinity. The fire, which is believed to have been intentionally set, was discovered by Bryant at the rear entrance to the boutique. “This man deserves a lot of credit for averting what could potentially have been a major fire that could have taken out several downtown businesses,” Trinity Fire Chief Hayne Huffman said Monday. “Not only that, but he probably saved the life of a woman who was sleeping in one of the adjoining businesses,” Huffman added. He noted that the boutique and the other business, The Trinity Mini Mall, were both filled with smoke as a result of the fire. “The fire never got into the building, but it did fill two businesses with smoke. If it had broken through into the building and gotten into the ceiling, we could have had a major disaster,” the fire chief said. Police Chief Steven Jones also praised Bryant’s quick action and noted that an arson investigation is now underway. According to Jones, Bryant was on patrol early Monday when he noticed the boutique was filled with smoke. When he could not spot a fire from the front of the building, he drove around to the back where he found what appeared to be a deliberately set fire burning at the rear entrance. Huffman said the only fire damage occurred at the rear door to the boutique. The boutique and Trinity Mini Mall also probably sustained some damage from the heavy smoke, he said. Other adjoining businesses, including Trinity Café and the Trinity Insurance Agency did not appear to have been affected by the smoke. Huffman noted that this was the second time Bryant has helped avert major downtown fires during his nighttime patrols. In September 2009, he spotted a fire at Bob’s Auto Repair located at the intersection of Robb and Caroline streets (Highways 19 and 94). That fire also was investigated as arson. Drug charges filed A Trinity couple was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana on Sunday after officers, acting on a tip, discovered growing marijuana plants in their residence at 119 Trinlady Park Road. Aaron Simmons, 34, and his wife, Dyricia Simmons, 28, were arrested by Officer Donald Givens and K-9 Officer Randy Wheeler. Jones said the officers were given information that drugs were being used at the residence and went to the house at about 8:20 p.m. to investigate. Officers found a single marijuana cigarette in a vehicle and five growing marijuana plants. Also on Sunday, Deborah Anders, 47, of Trinity was arrested at a residence at 105 8th Street on a state jail felony charge of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. Jones said that at 9:25 p.m., Officer Wheeler was dispatched to the residence after Anders called to report that there was an argument underway over money. After arriving at the scene, the officer asked Anders for identification and she reportedly handed him a temporary driver’s license. “When he unfolded the temporary license, a small baggie fell out onto the ground,” Jones said. “It appeared to be the type of baggie used to carry drugs and there appeared to be a white powder residue in it.” A field test of the baggie indicated the presence of cocaine and Anders was placed under arrest. Subsequently, a single Swisher Sweet cigar loaded with marijuana also was discovered. A third drug-related arrest came on Monday after Jones and Sgt. Thomas Park stopped a speeding vehicle. The incident began about 2:30 p.m. when the officers spotted the vehicle in front of the Trinity Brookshire Brothers traveling south of Highway 19 at a high rate of speed. When Jones and Park attempted to stop the vehicle using their lights and siren, it continued south but finally stopped just outside of the city limits in front of the River of Life Church. James Cook, 48, of Riverside was initially taken into custody on a state jail felony charge of evading arrest with a vehicle. Jones said that Cook subsequently told them that he initially fled because he had a $10 rock of crack cocaine in his possession. To avoid being caught with it, Jones said the suspect said he swallowed it. That lead to a second charge of tampering with physical evidence, which is a third degree felony.