Archive for August, 2009

Teen tased in Sunday incident

*published Aug. 31, 2009

Episode involves police officers investigating a robbery complaint and a mentally handicapped boy.
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

An altercation involving Lake Charles police officers and a 14-year-old mentally disabled boy resulted in the boy being tased and arrested.

The incident occurred near Knapp and North Prater streets in north Lake Charles on Sunday afternoon as officers had stopped another juvenile during an investigation of a robbery, according to authorities.

“The young man (the robbery victim) said another juvenile approached him, struck him and took his bicycle,” said Sgt. Mark Kraus. “The victim gave the officer a description of the bike and the suspect’s clothing.”

Kraus said the officer stopped a 14-year-old boy near Knapp and N. Prater streets who was wearing clothing fitting that description.

“While two officers detained the juvenile, they heard someone screaming and turned to see another person coming towards them attempting to attack them,” Kraus said. “This person fell on the suspect, and when officers tried to pull him off, he attacked the officers, cutting one’s lip and biting the other on the arm.”

Kraus said the officer tased the individual to stop him from biting.

A woman at the scene identified the robbery suspect and alleged attacker as her twin sons. She said the attacker is mentally disabled and that her daughter tried telling the officer this and saying not to use the Taser on him.

She said that officers should have spoken to people at the scene instead of using what she considered unnecessary force on the boy.

“There were about 10 police cars here, and none of the officers would fully tell me what was going on,” she said.

Kraus said the officer did not recall hearing being told about the juvenile’s condition, saying everything happened very quickly.

“At that point, the officer did not know the person’s age or mental condition,” Kraus said.

Kraus said the suspect in the bicycle case has been charged with robbery and was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center. The young man who was tased was taken to a hospital for evaluation and faces charges of interfering with an investigation and two counts of battery on a police officer.

“We expect our officers to defend themselves,” Kraus said. “When someone, juvenile or otherwise, injures them, we expect them to defend themselves.”

link:http://bit.ly/hqqz8

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August 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Profile of Killer

*published Aug. 28, 2009 (updated regularly)

Jeff Davis Serial Killer
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To view full map, CLICK HERE.

August 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

Law enforcement, District B residents meet to discuss crime issues

*published Aug. 28, 2009

Law enforcers’ interaction with residents was a main topic.

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

District B City Councilwoman Luvertha August held a meeting Thursday for residents and law enforcement officers to address various community issues.

Officers from the Lake Charles Police Department, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and Ward 3 City Marshal’s Office answered questions that ranged from suspected prostitution in an area to police interaction with residents.

At times, officers had to correct misinformation residents were told by other officers.

Shirley Sias said officers had been rude at times or did not say anything to people despite chasing a suspect onto their property.

Calcasieu Chief Deputy Gary “Stitch” Guillory said a resident should always ask for the supervisor, who should be on the scene.

“They are the one’s authorized to talk, and I think it’s common courtesy to knock on a door and tell the homeowner what they can,” he said.

August said some residents were told by city police that they didn’t handle prostitution complaints in residential areas. Lake Charles police Cpl. Marie Daughenbaugh said that is incorrect and that the officer should not have said that.

Lt. Arnold Bellow with the department’s community policing effort explained the timeline when investigating activity.

“We have to gather all the information from (residents) and work on building evidence to take to the district attorney,” Bellow said. “It doesn’t always happen quickly.”

Mayor Randy Roach encouraged residents to call in with as much specific information as they can, saying that everything can be helpful.

“With the computer-generated statistics, something that didn’t seem important at the time may be helpful later,” he said. “Those reports help them pick up patterns, and they have even been able to predict activity and we deploy our officers to this area.”

August explained that some people were concerned about an officer coming to their house after they call about an incident.

Residents can say they don’t want an officer to come to their house and leave just their name and phone number.

“If the officer gets there after the incident is over, they can just call you back to get some follow-up information,” Roach said.

“That specific information is what will help them catch the person afterwards,” he said.

The meeting ending with Cmdr. Eric Authement explaining a home or car owners’ right to use force against another person. All attendees received a copy of the full Louisiana law.

Attendees described the turnout of residents and law officers as “excellent.”

“I think they were very cooperative in answering all the questions,” said Gloria Jefferson.

“This was helpful because now we know their faces,” said Debra Landry.

link: http://bit.ly/mt0Au

August 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

LC police say squatter dies from injuries in beating

*published Aug. 27, 2009

A man who was living illegally in a Lake Charles house has died from injuries he suffered during a fight with the homeowner, police said.

Joseph K. Alexander, 20, was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, said Sgt. Mark Kraus. The cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

At about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, the owner of the house, a rental property at 1118 McNabb St., stopped there after he saw lights on inside it, Kraus said.

“The home was being renovated, so no one was living there,” he said.

Police said the owner encountered Alexander, who was armed with a bat. The owner took the bat from Alexander and used it to beat him, police said.

Kraus did not say whether the owner will face any charges.

VANESSA C. DEGGINS

link: http://bit.ly/15d7wM

August 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

CASH FOR CLUNKERS: Grinding to halt

published Aug. 25, 2009
Dealerships welcome hectic last day of rebates
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Clunkers traded for new vehicles at Mark Dodge in Lake Charles wait for their demise in a field behind the dealership. BY KAREN WINK

Clunkers traded for new vehicles at Mark Dodge in Lake Charles wait for their demise in a field behind the dealership. BY KAREN WINK

Area car dealers enjoyed a roller-coaster ride on Monday, the final day of the Car Allowance Rebate System, also known as the Cash for Clunkers program.

“It’s been crazy, but a good crazy,” said King Bolton, general manager of Bolton Ford.

Unlike some area dealerships, Bolton Ford accepted customers up to the 7 p.m. deadline.

Billy Navarre Chevrolet and Suzuki Auto Plex also accepted buyers until the deadline.

Most dealerships decided to stop on Saturday or by 2 p.m. Monday because of multiple crashes with the filing system.

The widespread system problems led the Obama administration to extend the filing deadline until noon today.

“This might be an allnighter for us,” said Doug Cosgro, Internet sales manager for Suzuki Auto Plex in Sulphur.

He said the dealership has sold about 20 cars through the Cash for Clunkers program, with the most popular models being the GSX-R crossover and XL7.

 According to sales personnel at Mark Dodge in Lake Charles, the dealership had more than 50 clunkers traded in for new cars under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS. BY KAREN WINK

According to sales personnel at Mark Dodge in Lake Charles, the dealership had more than 50 clunkers traded in for new cars under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS. BY KAREN WINK

At All-Star Pontiac, owner Jack Hebert said the dealership also sold about 20 cars through the program.

“We had some that didn’t qualify and bought cars anyway,” Hebert said. He said the dealership also sold a lot of used cars.

“The publicity of the program has sparked people’s interest and movement in general I think,” Hebert said.

For others, he said, they did appraisals of the vehicles to make sure the owners know the gas mileage and current value.

Bolton said the program also spurred consumer confidence.

“We tend to be conservative down here, so if your neighbor or friend is buying a new car, you might be more inclined to,” Bolton said.

All of the dealerships said things were only a little slow before the program started.

“We were doing OK in February and March, but this will definitely keep us from having excess inventory,” said Phillip Tarver, general manager for Lake Charles Toyota.

The next big step for dealers: waiting for government reimbursement and trashing the clunkers.

“We drain all the fluids and pour sodium silicate (also known as liquid glass) into the engine, and we run it until the motor locks up,” said Marsh Buice, general sales manager with Mark Dodge.

He said the dealership has sold about 60 vehicles through the program.

Most of the dealers said they have only been reimbursed for a few cars or none at all, but said they don’t expect that to be a problem.

“You know, we’ve done everything right and trust the government will follow through,” Bolton said.

link:http://bit.ly/3EGVxT

August 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Virtual Tour: Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab

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To go on a virtual tour of the lab, CLICK HERE.

link: http://bit.ly/QdypL

August 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

CPSO: DNA links Sulphur man to Moss Bluff burglary

*published Aug. 19, 2009
Authorities believe blood at scene result of cut suffered by intruder.
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says another old case has been solved through DNA testing by the recently certified Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab.

Last week, Catlin C. Richard, 21, of Sulphur, was arrested for a June 2005 burglary in Moss Bluff. He was charged with burglary, theft and criminal property damage.

Judge Kent Savoie set his bond at $51,000.

Officials in 2005 collected samples of blood from several rooms in the burglarized house and determined the burglar had cut himself when he broke a window to get inside, authorities said.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said last week that state and FBI crime labs give priority to violent crime cases, leaving samples from other cases to languish on long waiting lists.

The area lab was certified to be a part of the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, two months ago.

On July 31, the 2005 samples were matched to Richard, and he was charged Aug. 13. At the time, he was being held in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on other charges.

The Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab reportedly has 50 to 60 backlogged crime scene samples to input and analyze.

When a sample is matched to a person in the database, it has to be rerun within 30 days by another analyst to confirm the match, said Cmdr. Matt Viator.

Viator said that before the area lab was nationally certified, officers here had to contract with other CODIS-certified labs if they needed a national search.

Samples that are backlogged in state and federal labs can be recalled by local law enforcement agencies to be submitted to the area lab.

CODIS is funded by the FBI and was created as a searchable national database for local DNA labs.

In addition to this latest case, CODIS hits have led to arrests for 13 other crimes: two burglaries and four rapes for the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office; one rape and five burglaries for Lake Charles police; and one burglary for the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On the Net: http://www.dna.gov.

link: http://bit.ly/goaob

August 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

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