Press ReleaseTuesday, June 22, 2021
Arrest Made for Two Incidents of Arson and Willful Harm / Injury to Children
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 8:15 a.m., Turlock Police Officers were dispatched to the 500 block of Sunnyside Drive for an arson. Prior to police officers’ and fire department personnel’s arrival, a neighbor noticed the fire and ran across the street to awaken the three adults and three young children who were all sleeping inside. The neighbor alerted the residents and they all safely exited without injury.
Upon arrival, officers were informed by the Turlock Fire Department that an incendiary device had been thrown, causing a fire to the residence.
Turlock Police Detective Gina Giovacchini was assigned to the case and responded to the scene. Through the course of the investigation, she learned that there was a previous fire that occurred at the residence on May 24, 2021, that the residents extinguished themselves and did not report to the police at that time. It was determined that fire was also caused by an incendiary device. On June 21, 2021, Detective Giovacchini was able to identify the suspect responsible for both arsons, J.D. Dwaine Lucas, a 37 year old male from Turlock.
On June 21, 2021, Detective Giovacchini determined a location where Lucas would possibly be. He was located and taken into custody without incident. Lucas was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail and charged with eight felonies including two counts of arson on an inhabited dwelling and six counts of willful harm or injury to a child; which is the result of the three children inside the residence both times the fires were intentionally set.
Anyone with any information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Gina Giovacchini by calling (209) 668-6539.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.
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This information is being released by Turlock Police Department Crime and Community Analyst Deandra Wiley.
Any media requests should contact:
Sergeant Michael Parmley
Office of Professional Standards
Turlock Police Department
Office phone - (209) 668-7345
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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