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Suspect starts fire in residence during mental crisis

A press release from Picayune Police Assistant Chief Bolton states that on September 13, 2021 at 5:35 p.m., an officer with the Picayune Police Department were dispatched to 117 Clark Street, Picayune, in reference to a female subject possibly having a mental health crisis.

On arrival, the officers met with the residents of the home who explained that the suspect identified as Rachel Ann Dembinski age 42, was attempting to set things on fire within the residence. During the course of the investigation, the officer walked into the room occupied by Dembinski and smelled gasoline. The officer, who was trained in CIT (Crisis Intervention Techniques), called for EMS to come to the residence to evaluate Dembinski.


The officer exited out of the room to speak with the homeowner and left Dembinski and another female in the room. The other resident of the home came out and advised the officer that Dembinski had lit the closet in the room on fire, and then exited out the rear of the house. The officer was able to get all of the residents in the home outside and called for assistance from the Picayune Fire Department. The officer was able to locate a fire extinguisher and put the fire out before it spread throughout the residence according to Bolton.


Dembinski was located a few minutes later at a business on North Beech Street by other officers where she was taken into custody for the incident. Officers were checking Dembinski prior to transport and located one small plastic bag containing a white crystal like substance believed to be crystal meth on her person.


Dembinski was transported to the Pearl River County Jail in Millard, where she was booked for Arson and Possession of Controlled Substance (Felony).


Assistant Chief Bolton would like to thank the Picayune Fire Department for their quick response and assistance in this incident.

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