Posts tagged ‘don dixon’

Police arrest 6 over ambush

*published Sept. 7, 2009
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Dixon: Attack on LCPD lieutenant was assassination attempt
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Lake Charles police have arrested six men for the Sept. 2 attack on a police lieutenant as he was leaving work at a community policing substation.

Police have arrested Brandon Andra Trahan, 33, of 17618 Lasting Rose Drive in Houston; Edmond Lawrence Jr., 23, of 1617 12th St.; David Dwayne Royster, 22, and Joshua Wayne Royster, 23, both of 1712 8th Ave.; Anthony James Aaron, 23, of 1505 Hunter Drive; and Eddie Joseph Banks, 23, of 1725 13th St.

The men were arrested over the past three days and each faces a single charge of attempted first degree murder. Judge David Ritchie set their bonds at $2 million each.

At around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, Lt. Arnold Bellow was leaving his office in the 2400 block of Anita Drive when he was fired upon by up to six men, said Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon.

“Lt. Bellow returned fire, took cover and was not injured,” Dixon said. “These cowards clearly had no regard for human life whatsoever.”

Dixon called the attack a “deliberate attempt on Lt. Bellow’s life.” He said residences surrounding the scene were hit by bullets from the shootout.

Bellow is now under 24-hour police protection.

Dixon said he believes the attack was the result of recent investigations by Lt. Bellow that “severely disrupted narcotics trafficking” in the Carshop area of Lake Charles — mainly Progressive and Tulip streets and 9th and 10th avenues.

“Search warrants in the past few weeks have led to arrests and seizures of narcotics, drying up the drug trafficking in the area,” Dixon said.

He said the people arrested were major suppliers of drugs in that area.

Other agencies that contributed to the investigation are the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Bellow has been with the department for 22 years and was most recently working in the community policing division, which works with neighborhood watch groups.

He previously worked as a patrol officer and with the narcotics task force.

Dixon did not say how many of the attackers were armed or how many guns have been recovered or the types used.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we asked anyone who had contact with the six men to come forward or to call the lead detective, Franklin Fondel, at 302-8207 or 491-1456, ext. 1219,” Dixon said.

To hear the news conference, CLICK HERE.

link: http://bit.ly/2Bat7C

September 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

Texas OKs forced evacuations

published August 1, 2009
Calcasieu officials say that’s never a good idea
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A Texas law set to take effect Sept. 1 gives law enforcement officers the right to use “reasonable force” during a mandatory evacuation.

The law, sponsored by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, does not give a definition of “ reasonable force.” Carona told The Associated Press the law could be of use “in removing children, the elderly or infirm from unsafe situations.”

In Louisiana, there is no law in place to force residents to leave their homes, regardless of the situation. But both Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said they make sure their officers explain the consequences of remaining.

“The resident is told that at some point they could be cut off from all parish services,” Mancuso said. “That means no police, no fire or medical services and that they are staying at their own risk.”

Dixon also said his officers won’t force anyone to evacuate.

“We can make sure residents without transportation get to a shelter or a bus going north,” Dixon said. “But they are also told when we go to code red (winds are above 40 mph) we can’t send someone out to help them.”

Dixon said that in “extreme cases” — where a person may have a mental illness and pose a danger to themselves or others — an officer can take a person to the hospital for evaluation.

“I think our Legislature had explored some type of option (to compel evacuation), but they scrapped it,” Mancuso said. “And in my opinion, it really seems unenforceable.

“For instance, if we have 200,000 people in the parish and 40,000 decide to stay, I don’t see how we have the manpower to make all of them leave.”

Mancuso said the only thing he could think of would be to file charges afterward, because arresting people is also out of the question.

“We empty our jail and send our prisoners north, too,” he said.

Dixon agreed with Mancuso’s assessment, saying a department could also be put in a position to be sued after the fact.

In rationalizing the lack of a definition of “reasonable force,” Carona said the law is meant to be a tool for Texas law enforcement officers to use at their own discretion.

Sgt. Mark Kraus with the city said the law enforcement definition of “reasonable force” when a suspect is resisting “is to use a greater force than what is being exerted upon the officer.”

“And I just don’t see it as logical for an officer to be in a standoff with someone trying to get them out of their own property,” Kraus said.

link: http://bit.ly/qBQX6

August 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

11 arrested in crime spree

*published June 11, 2009
Police Department to start up summer curfew detail
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Lake Charles police have arrested the last of 11 people they believe went on a two week “violent crime spree” in the area, Police Chief Don Dixon said Wednesday at a news conference.

“The males — ranging from ages 15 to 21 — were believed to be a part of a gang operating in the vicinity of Pear and Rena streets,” Dixon said.

Arrested were Jessie Lee Thomas and Devin Quinn Joseph, both 17, on armed robbery and carjacking charges; Terrell Lemelle McCree, 20, on charges of obstruction of justice; Demetrius Durell Nash, 20, on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and burglary of a vehicle; and Dominic Jamal Williams, 21, on charges of monetary instrument abuse and possession of counterfeit money.

The names of the other six involved — all juveniles — were not released.

Dixon said Detective Frank Fondel began investigating the crimes May 15. Law enforcers believe they continued until May 29.

“He found a pattern to the crimes and determined that they were based at 1807 and 1809 N. Pear streets,” Dixon said.

Fondel, along with the SWAT team, set up surveillance of the homes before executing search warrants for both.

On May 29, they arrested Williams leaving the home. In the car he was driving, Dixon said, they found counterfeit money hidden in a compartment behind the glove box.

“In the home we recovered marijuana, a shotgun, more counterfeit money, boxes of shell casings, a scanner/printer, printing paper and a 9 mm we believe was used in the carjacking,” Dixon said.

All of those arrested remain in the Calcasieu Correctional Center and the Juvenile Detention Center.

Dixon said he contacted the U.S. Secret Service and that it is now assisting with the investigation.

“What we believe we are dealing with is a territorial gang, and there are others we are also looking at,” Dixon said.

He reiterated the issue of parental responsibility. He said the department had planned to start up its summer curfew details in mid-June but began deploying officers recently because of problems in the Huber Park area.

“It seems like every year when school gets out, things go crazy,” Dixon said. “It’s the same this year.”

He said he purposely was careful with overtime so that he could afford the summer details. He estimated the department has about $29,000 to use.

“We will continue to use computer-generated statistics to find any hot spots (of crime) and use our details to target the areas,” Dixon said.

article link: http://bit.ly/1K5JJW

June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Parental ‘accountability’ subject of legislation

*published May 20, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

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Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon on Tuesday at the state Capitol spoke in favor of legislation to toughen penalties for contributing to a minor’s delinquency.

He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted to send the bill to the full Senate.

Senate Bill 243, sponsored by Willie Mount, D-Lake Charles, would set a mandatory minimum of two years in prison for an adult who allows a juvenile to commit a felony.

“The penalties are strong because we want parents to be aware of what their children are doing and to know there are penalties,” Mount said.

Dixon said he asked Mount to sponsor the bill as a result of the Jan. 21 theft — allegedly involving two juveniles — of 25 guns from the Civic Center. Police have reported recovered seven of the firearms.

“I explained to the committee exactly what happened,” Dixon said in a phone interview. “The (suspects’) mother did nothing, and the father actually sold some of the guns.”

Police determined that the two boys — both already on probation for theft — and their cousin, David Bartie, 17, hid out in the Civic Center until night. They reportedly made at least two trips from the Civic Center to their house at 518 Fournet St. to move the stolen property.

The mother and father, Christopher Bartie, 44, and Stacy Lamb, 35, were charged with theft and possession of stolen goods.

“The mother saw the children bringing these things into her house,” Dixon said.

When detectives questioned Lamb about why she didn’t ask about the guns, her response was “that is their business,” Dixon said.

“A prudent, reasonable parent would ask these questions,” he said. “You can’t just turn your head and act ignorant.”

“I told the committee, ‘We can’t legislate responsibility, but we can legislate accountability.’ ”

Mount said the bill was carefully written when explaining situations in which the parents knowingly contribute to their children’s delinquency.

article link: http://bit.ly/2X0AJ

May 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment