Natchez Police investigate arson of officer’s apartment

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — Authorities say a Natchez police officer’s apartment was intentionally set on fire Thursday morning.

Threats against police officer Nikita Stone reportedly led to the possible arson at Susie B. West Apartments on Lewis Drive, Natchez Police Lt. Craig Godbold said.

Rescue units responded to the fire at approximately 7:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

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Godbold said Stone works security at the apartment complex, and lives with his family in apartment No. 25.

Godbold said Stone recently received threats from neighbors.

“There have been several people who have made threats to him out there. Someone threatened to burn (Stone) up, and his wife and children,” Godbold said. “This officer is trying to clean this place up, but thugs are trying to run him away.”

Police have arrested one man who allegedly threatened Stone. Willis Ivory III, 39, 167A Carmel Church Road, was arrested on charges of simple assault on a police officer Tuesday. Ivory is being held at the Natchez City Jail without bond.

Natchez Fire Marshal Aaron Wesley said the apartment suffered significant smoke damage as a result of the blaze.

“(The fire) didn’t get started by itself,” Wesley said. “It got started by human hands.”

Godbold said the investigation is ongoing.