SLIDELL – A man led Slidell police on a wild chase before attempting to kill himself with a machete last Friday.
The incident began around 9:30 a.m. on May 12 when an officer attempted to pull over Rene Jaunet III on Highway 190 West near Carroll Road for not wearing a seatbelt, according to the Slidell Police Department.
Instead of pulling over, Jaunet sped up and veered into oncoming traffic, according to the SPD.
The high-speed chase continued down Bayou Liberty Road, where Jaunet blew through a red light before getting stuck behind large truck.
Jaunet tried to pass the truck unsuccessfully several times, eventually swerving into a ditch on the right side of the road.
Jaunet made it back onto the road, at which point he slammed into the truck, causing the truck to lose control and come to a rest blocking traffic.
After making it past the truck, Jaunet’s vehicle became airborne after hitting the railroad tracks at Bayou Liberty and Front Street.
The vehicle slid out of control into the parking lot of a muffler shop when it hit the ground, slamming into a parked car, according to the SPD.
After finally crashing his vehicle, Jaunet got out holding a large machete, which he began swinging over his head while shouting “just shoot me,” according to the SPD.
Shortly after, Jaunet threw himself to the ground and began trying to stab himself in the stomach with the machete, according to the SPD.
An officer fired his Taser at Jaunet, with one prong hitting the machete and one hitting his vehicle.
Jaunet still received a shock from the Taser, according to the SPD, and he got to his feet and ran away.
Officers soon found Jaunet stuck in an alleyway between a house and a garage, still armed with the machete, which he then began to use to try to slit his own throat after again asking officers to shoot him.
After some coaxing from police, Jaunet agreed to put down his machete and was taken into custody.
He was taken to Slidell Memorial Hospital for an evaluation, and will face charges upon his release, according to the SPD.
“Although this began as a minor traffic violation, the driver put himself and others in danger due to his actions,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said. “I feel that it is very commendable that officers switched to less than lethal weapons when able to and were able to talk the driver into not harming himself. The driver was taken to the hospital and will hopefully get the help that he needs to get his life in order.”