DENTON — Police sub-station burns in Denton
DENTON -- A fire that gutted a neighborhood police station early today may be related to a fire-bombing attempt and a disturbance that had occurred 24 hours earlier, a state fire official said this morning.
Deputy Chief Allen Ward, of the State Fire Marshal's office, said the disturbance occurred early yesterday in a predominantly black neighborhood.
Last year, members of Denton's all-white police force were charged with using excessive force against black teen-agers when they broke up a melee at a dance in January, a charge not supported by a State Police investigation.
Tensions escalated in June of that year, when about 200 people threw rocks and bottles at police and set fires after two police officers arrested a black teen-ager.
Chief Ward said the police sub-station, which was used for neighborhood patrol and was not permanently manned, was broken into early yesterday morning after police responded to the disturbance.
The building had been ransacked and fire officials discovered a fire bomb inside, which caused minimal damage, Chief Ward said.
Early today, the sub-station burned. Chief Ward said the fire was reported about 3:15 a.m. He said investigators believe the fire was set, but officials had just gotten into the ruined remains this morning.
"We have no suspects at this time," Ward said.