Police arrested Paul Prince, 33, of Mansfield, on a felony charge of illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine; Allen Mobberly, 32, of Norwalk, permitting drug abuse and child endangering; and James J. Arthur II, no age or address listed, illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine. Samantha Reed was charged with trafficking in heroin as the result of an earlier investigation.
Norwalk police detective Sgt. Tim Fulton said complaints and information about a meth lab operating in an apartment complex on Bouscay Avenue were made to the police department, so police obtained a search warrant from Judge John Ridge on Friday.
They quickly surrounded 37C Bouscay Ave.
“I was watching and saw people at the upstairs window. I announced hit it,” Fulton said.
A battering ram was used to knock in the door, and officers raced upstairs.
The adults were upstairs, and a 3-year-old child was sleeping on a couch downstairs.
Prince was seen running from a bedroom to a bathroom, Fulton said.
A small fire ignited in a bedroom where an active meth lab was found.
Prince admitted he knocked over chemical by-products that occur when meth is manufactured.
He said it was unintentional, but Fulton wasn’t convinced.
“It is my belief he did it deliberately,” Fulton said.
Police quickly got everyone out of the apartment.
“Thank God no one was hurt,” Fulton said.
Police had asked Norwalk firefighters to stand by just down the street as a precaution in dealing with the caustic, unstable and very flammable materials used in a meth lab.
Firefighters moved in and quickly extinguished the fire.
Norwalk fire Capt. Dan Hunt said the chemical by-product had caught the curtains and other bedroom items on fire, but they were able to quickly put it out.
Tenants living in the B and D apartments were evacuated “as a safety precaution while we made sure there was no fire in the ceiling or walls,” Hunt said.
Police found BB guns in a bedroom. They are also obtaining search warrants for cell phones and a car they seized from the apartment.