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Crime Scene 3NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - A lone gunman forced his way into an armored truck Monday when guards stopped at an Uptown business, the FBI’s New Orleans field office said.

It happened around 8:40 a.m. when the truck was parked at a business in the 200 block of Broadway Street, near Leake Avenue.

Authorities say the man in his mid 20s or early 30s managed to get into the truck and hold a guard at gunpoint, forcing them to drive the truck near Chestnut and Audubon streets. There the gunman fled the truck on foot taking a bag containing an unknown amount of money.

The suspect is approximately 6 feet tall with a slim build. Officials say he was wearing a long-sleeve blue shirt, dark pants, white cloth gloves with rubber tips, and a white garden style hat covering his face.

Anyone who has information is asked to contact the FBI at 504-816-3000 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

 

 

Charles West

Charles West

SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) -  He’s accused of stealing a company check to pay a prostitute. Slidell Police say the alleged sex act happened on the job; and it was all caught on tape.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter shows us exclusive video.

“I think he’s stupid. It’s illegal, it shouldn’t have been done. It’s immoral,” neighbor Thomas Dorgan said.

“It, it, it was kind of unwise of him to do such a thing,” neighbor Larry Ivey added.

Everyday citizens of Slidell are blown away by the alleged actions of a store clerk caught on security camera video.

Police say 24-year old Charles West took a woman into the back room of his job for a private moment; only it wasn’t.

We won’t say the name of the business, but the crime happened Monday, at Fremeaux Town Center, located on Towne Center Parkway in Slidell.

“In that new shopping center? In what, one of the stores? Oh lord,” Dorgan exclaimed.

Detective Daniel Seuzeneau says the store manager became suspicious Wednesday and started to review camera footage. “Well what he discovered on the surveillance video was shocking.”

He says the video shows Charles West at the close of business walking into the room with the woman.

“This is the back office,” Seuzeneau points out.

The two appear to look for the perfect spot. Eventually the employee pushes a chair into the middle of the room.

We can’t show you the oral sex investigators say happened in the dark.

The worker thought no would ever know; but the camera caught it all.

“So he turned out the lights thinking that would cut the video but it didn’t it was all night vision,” Seuzeneau said.

“Uh, he should have turned the cameras off; at least he wouldn’t have got caught like that,” neighbor Johnnie Wall said.

The video picks up, after the alleged services were rendered, with the employee walking out.

“Uh, I don’t know what to say,” a very uncomfortable Aleea Guidry said.

Let’s go back.

The video shows the employee doing something with paperwork.

Police say Charles West used a company check to pay the woman $200, and he forged his boss’s signature.

Neighbor Ronald Wall said, “Uh, I think it’s’ messed up. A company check? Why didn’t he use his own money?”

“Yeah it’s crazy,” Johnnie Wall said.

Slidell Police were there when Charles West returned to work.

He was immediately placed under arrest.

“He paid for sex; he used a company check to do it, and forged the manager’s name so,” Seuzeneau said.

“Tuh, he’s finished all around,” Dorgan said. “He made his bed, gotta lie in it.”

West has been charged with theft, forgery, and solicitation of a prostitute.

Detectives are now searching the woman caught on tape, believed to have cashed the forged check.

ST. JOHN PARISH (WGNO) - A drug training course has paid off in a big way in St. John Parish. A deputy who had just completed a drug training academy has helped take a large amount of marijuana off the streets.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke to the deputy who’s making a difference.

Meet Deputy Cody Malkiewicz and his K-9 companion Odeke.

The two are being recognized for making a very sizable drug bust in Laplace.

“There’s a lot of buzz around it,” Malkiewicz bashfully admitted.

It all happened less than 24 hours after Malkiewicz completed a course on how to catch drug smugglers.

He was patrolling Interstate 10 early Saturday morning, when he happened upon a driver, deputies with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office had been looking for.

He followed, just as he was trained to do.

“The subject driving the car became nervous, began swerving from one lane to the dash line.”

That’s when Malkiewicz made the traffic stop.

“Got him out of the car and at that time I smelled marijuana,” Malkiewicz said.

Odeke moved in and sniffed out a whole lot more.

Officers obtained a search warrant and discovered 120 pounds of weed and $18,000 in cash.

Sheriff Mike Tregre says 60-percent of the money will eventually be funneled back into the narcotics division, and potentially fund more training courses.

“I’m even more inclined now to train more of my officers and I’m going to do that,” Tregre said.

The driver, 33-year old Adam Landry of Slidell, was arrested on multiple drug charges.

Deputy Malkiewicz is proud to have put his 4-days of training to use.

“Feel good about it. Feel real good about it, being a police officer you don’t get recognition that much and when you get something like this it make you feel like you’re doing really good for the community and that’s all I want to do is help out the community and get those drugs off the street,” Malkiewicz said. “This is not my first time, and it won’t be my last.”

Sheriff Tregre plans to have an even greater presence on the interstate; to reduce the amount of drugs being funneled into the parish.

roberthurst

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office will not pursue an attempted murder charge against an New Orleans Police officer. The charge stemmed from a domestic abuse investigation by the department’s Public Integrity Bureau in April.

A battery charge remains against Robert Hurst, a ten-year veteran of the NOPD.

On Friday (June 11) the NOPD announced Hurst had been placed on emergency suspension without pay.

Hurst was the first of two NOPD officers charged with a felony.

 

 

METAIRIE (WGNO) - A man accused of killing his girlfriend in Metairie and taking-off with his three children is behind bars and the kids are okay.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says one of the kidnapped children got a phone, called a friend who in turn alerted police.

43-year-old Pedro Alberto Monterroso-Navas was then found at a trailer park in Katy, Texas.

All 3 children accounted for.

“Evidently there was trouble between the adults,” says a next door neighbor who wants to rename anonymous. “All over jealousy. He was jealous because she wanted to be with somebody else. I just wished I had known something beforehand. It could have been stopped.”

“We saw them almost every day,” says neighbor Anthony Meza, who watched police investigating early Sunday morning. “They were poor. Wish I could help them.”

Monterroso-Navas is accused of beating his girlfriend to death in the bathtub at their Metairie apartment early Sunday, then fleeing with three of their five children.

The sheriff’s office identified the fatal stabbing victim as 24-year-old Heidi Monroy.

JPSO says if and when the murder suspect will be extradited back to Louisiana, is unknown.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - For the second time in less than a week, a New Orleans police officer has been charged with a felony stemming from alleged domestic battery.

“I’m surprised actually that we haven’t heard of more of these instances,” Tulane University Sociologist Charles R. Figley said.

He’s talking about New Orleans police officers accused of domestic abuse.

Within the past four days two separate officers have been charged with domestic battery.

Officer Christopher Carter faces one count of domestic abuse battery, and another count of domestic abuse battery involving strangulation.

Friday — the NOPD announced detective Robert Hurst was charged with attempted second degree murder relative to simple battery, stemming from allegations of domestic abuse.

It’s a well-known fact that New Orleans police officers work in a high stress environment, in high risk situations, and with a shortage of officers.

Tulane University Sociologist Charles Figley.

“The pressure is intense and so when you’re come home its very hard to both calm down from that and also respond in an appropriate way.”

Recent studies found at least 40-percent of police officer families experience domestic violence. That’s in contrast to 10-percent of families in the general population; which indicates domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common among police families than families in general.

People we talked to say job related stress is no excuse.

“There’s no excuse at all. I don’t think being a police officer. Stress is any justification for that so I don’t think it’s right regardless,” Melanie Cowan said.

“I mean everyone experiences stress. You got to deal with it yourself. You can’t do things that aren’t right you know,” Avery Kindler said.

Figley agrees.

“Never an excuse, explanation, but never an excuse. You just don’t hit, hurt, and harm especially purposely the people you love, you care about or that are weaker than you. There’s no excuse what so ever,” Figley said.

The Public Integrity Bureau is investigating allegations against the veteran officers.

Both officers have been placed on emergency suspension without pay.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Two teens and a 3-year-old girl were injured Tuesday evening when shots were fired into a crowd in the New Orleans neighborhood of Gert Town.

Police say two men approached a group of people in the 1300 block of S. Salcedo around 7:10 p.m. and began firing.

A 15-year-old was struck in the hip and leg. He is in stable condition.  A 16-year-old boy was struck in the stomach and a 3-year-old girl was struck in the back. Police say they are both in critical condition.

Police are looking for the suspects who fled the scene in a white 4 door Titian truck.

NOPD chief Ronal Serpas will speak to the media about the shooting shortly.

Dispute in Kenner Turns DeadlyKENNER, La. (WGNO) - No charges have been filed against a Kenner woman who fatally shot her husband.

Investigators say the shooting ended a history of domestic violence between the couple.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter talked to experts about options for victims of domestic violence who can’t fight back.

Kenner Police were still collecting evidence late Tuesday morning, after a night long investigation.

They were called to the 2400 block of Kentucky Avenue for a domestic-related disturbance.

When officers arrived they found 38-year old Lyndell Desilva had been shot multiple times. His wife Melissa was frantic.

“She was trying to render aid to her husband. She says she didn’t mean for this to happen. She feared for her life, as well as her children,” Kenner Police Sgt. Brian McGregor said.

The children, ages 4 to 14, reportedly dialed 911 around 2:30 a.m.; when their father allegedly showed up armed with a gun.

An argument turned physical, and then came the gunfire.

“She wound up firing her own weapon, shooting him multiple times. He was transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” McGregor said.

Kenner Police say there was no history of domestic violence at the home. That’s because family members say it went unreported.

“We always recommend that they call the police. I mean sometimes when we respond it doesn’t always mean someone’s going to be arrested,” McGregor said.

“There are many reasons why people don’t call the police,” Rebecca Rainer said.

Rainer is Program Director for Metropolitan Center for Women & Children; an emergency domestic violence shelter.

She says intervention, harm reduction, and safety planning should be considered when problems at home spiral out of control.

It could mean the difference between life and death.

“Document things if you’re not going to call the police. Try to keep documentation of incidents and things like that,” Rainer said.

“I mean we all have been involved in altercations, verbal altercations with our spouse and so forth. Not always do you call the police; but it’s starting to escalate, when you’re going physical with the individual or they’re out of control, it’s best to just give us a call,” McGregor said.

Kenner police have turned the case over to the District Attorney’s office for review.

No charges have been filed against the victims’ estranged wife.

The Metropolitan Center for Women and Children have emergency domestic violence shelter’s throughout the metro area. For more information about services, call the 24-hour crisis hotline (504) 837-5400.

News
07/08/14

JPSO Tests Out Drone at Marrero Crime Scene

MARRERO, La. (WGNO) – Can drones help investigators at major crimes scenes?

Today the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office launched a drone to capture video of a crime scene from overhead. They say it’s a first. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano brings us the images and the great drone debate.

To some it may seem like something from out of this world. For the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon was a test drive.

JPSO authorities tell us deputies launched a drone for the first time over a crime scene in Marrero where 16-year old Stefan Johnson was killed.

Retired FBI Special Agent in Charge Jim Bernazzani says the feds have been using drones for some time now, but it’s the first time he’s heard of local law enforcement agents launching them here.

“Two things with the drones. One: they’re very cost efficient. One drone takes the place of approximately 20 surveillance personnel, and the second is that law enforcement doesn’t have to announce their presence now. They can fly in very quietly, do the surveillance they need to do, get the information back to the tactical people on the ground, and move forward,” explains Bernazzani.

Bernazzani says as long as their use remains public to public, meaning they wouldn’t be peaking inside someone’s home, they’re legal.

Marjorie Esman with the ACLU is concerned about privacy of the innocent.

“There’s no reason for the government to be engaging in surveillance of large areas and maybe watching what people are doing if they’re not suspected of any wrong doing, so the question has to be what will the drone get them that they couldn’t have gotten without it and what will happen to the images that they collect once their investigation into that particular crime is concluded,” questions Esman.

JPSO authorities are keeping tight-lipped about their drone operation for now, but they do tell us they’re exploring the possibility of using drones and would only use them for aerial video of a crime scene.

Bernazzani says eventually drone use may stop crimes before they happen.

“You may see, eventually down the road, drones in the skies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just hanging around watching. As long as it’s legal, it’s public to public, there really isn’t a constitutional concern,” says Bernazzani.

Several states have placed restrictions on drones. Here in Louisiana lawmakers discussed the drone debate this past session yet no restrictions were put in place. For now the use of drones remains unregulated in Louisiana.

Drones have been used by several police departments across the United States, including the Houston Police Department. For a complete list of police departments and other government agencies using drones click here and here.

Below is raw footage of the drone:

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