Leesville woman arrested on animal cruelty, arson charges

Heather Santos (Source: VPSO)
Heather Santos (Source: VPSO)

The following is a news release from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office:

Sheriff Sam Craft announces the February 21, 2011 arrest of Heather Santos, 25, of Leesville.  Santos was arrested and booked into the Vernon Parish Jail on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to an Animal, one count of Criminal Mischief, one count of False Swearing, and one count of Simple Arson.

Sheriff Craft reports that the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office responded to the residence of Heather Santos on nine (9) occasions between the dates of June 2010 through February 2011.

Numerous reports were filed by Santos alleging that someone was attempting to gain entry into her home while she was inside the residence.  Santos also alleged that an unknown person repeatedly attempted to set fire to her home.  Deputies did observe on different occasions areas around the perimeters of the residence where it appeared that small fires had been set.

Santos also filed reports during the time period alleging that she had a prowler at her residence.  On January 30, 2011 deputies were dispatched to the residence of Santos in regards to cruelty to an animal.  Upon arrival at the residence deputies located a deceased puppy that was hanging by the neck with a chain.

Upon further investigation by Deputies and Detectives, Santos did admit to filing numerous false police reports.  Santos also admitted to setting the suspect fires, providing false statements, and hanging the puppy by the neck.

Bond was set at $ 3500.00 on the Aggravated Cruelty to an Animal charge,  $ 500.00 on  the Criminal Mischief charge, $ 3000.00 on the Simple Arson charge, and $ 1000.00 on the charge of False Swearing.

Santos did post bond and was released from the VPSO jail.