Man arrested for Hammond charity building fire
From the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal
TANGIPAHOA PARISH --- The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) has arrested a Hammond man for setting fire to a church organization’s donation building and spitting on a deputy during his arrest.
Steve Oalmann, 44, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on one count each of Simple Arson, Simple Assault and Resisting an Officer.
In the early morning hours of Friday, June 26, the Hammond Fire Department responded to a call for a structure fire in the 200 block of North Carter Street. The building was owned by an area church and was used to store and distribute donation items like toiletries to the needy in the community.
Firefighters found damage in the building’s bathroom and contacted the SFM to assist with investigating the origin and cause.
After an assessment of the scene, deputies determined the fire originated in a plastic trash can in the bathroom and was intentionally set.
Evidence obtained, including surveillance video, identified Oalmann, who was a resident in the neighboring apartment complex, as a suspect in the case.
With the assistance of the Hammond Police and Fire Departments, Oalmann was found and taken into custody. However, during the effort to place him under arrest, Oalmann attempted to escape by pushing the arresting deputy and spitting on him.
During transport, Oalmann exhibited signs of a medical emergency and was then taken to an area hospital for evaluation. Following his release, Oalmann was booked on the charges listed above.