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NBPS: Arson, drug charges laid as Port-a-John 'likely destroyed'

Several Lee Park staff members attended the scene, extinguished the blaze and called the police
USED Gateway of the North arch
The Gateway Arch in Lee Park. File photo.

The North Bay Police Service reports it has laid charges against a North Bay man after an incident in which a fire was set in a portable toilet in Lee Park off Memorial Drive.

According to police, just after 8:30 a.m. on Monday, February 5, the accused in this incident attended a Port-a-John near the skating rink at Lee Park in North Bay. At that time, police say the accused started a fire in the toilet setting the Port-a-John on fire. Several Lee Park municipal workers attended the scene, extinguished the blaze and called the police.

Meanwhile, another staff member followed the accused at a safe distance on foot. Police, with the staff member's assistance, located the accused a short distance away and he was taken into custody without further incident. Upon identifying the accused, it was found that there were also outstanding warrants for him on unrelated matters.

As a result, the North Bay Police Service has charged 31-year-old Gerald Lavallee of North Bay with:

  • Arson – Cause damage to property
  • Possession of a controlled substance - two counts

After his arrest, police say a search of the accused revealed a small baggie containing 24 suspected methylphenid pills, which is a schedule 1 substance, under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

North Bay Fire and Emergency Services also attended the scene, ensuring the fire was out and the area was safe. 

As a result of the fire, the loss to the owner is estimated at $1,600, as the Port-a-John was likely damaged beyond repair.

The accused was held in custody for a bail hearing.