Trackhoe operator arrested at scene of Dunkerton fire

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - An equipment operator who was called to help firefighters with a house fire in Jones County Saturday was arrested after a confrontation with a state conservation officer who was assisting with traffic on the scene.

Officials with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks said William T. Parker, 50, was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and failure to yield to traffic commands after failing to stop his 18-wheeler at a traffic perimeter surrounding a fire at the home of Rick and Paige Dunkerton.

Jones County fire officials say Parker was transporting a trackhoe to the scene to assist firefighters.

MDWFP officials said he passed an officer and struck him before he stopped.

They said he continued to be non-compliant with the officer and was arrested.

Parker was allowed to do his trackhoe work before he was taken into custody.

MDWFP said its officer suffered minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.