Attempted kidnapping suspect caught in Kenner

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UPDATE: The JPSO said Joseph Picard was captured in Kenner shortly after 12:30 p.m.

According to the sheriff’s office, Joseph Picard has a prior criminal history, with arrests for contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, simple burglary, possession of crack cocaine, illegal use of a firearm, illegal possession of narcotics and parole violation.

METAIRIE – The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who attempted to kidnap two women in Metairie last night after luring children to his vehicle with promises of money at a Metairie playground.

Forty-year-old Joseph Picard was first spotted lurking around Mike Miley Playground on West Metairie Avenue in the early evening hours of June 15, according to the JPSO.

Picard attempted to lure children who were at the playground into his BMW X3 SUV with a Louisiana license plate number YPZ945 by offering them $100 to work for him.

The children turned down the offer, left the playground, and told their parents, who then called the police.

JPSO officers located Picard at the playground, questioned him, and let him go.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Picard approached a 15-year-old girl in the 2200 block of Judith Drive who was talking to a friend on her cell phone.

Picard asked the girl if she had seen a little girl named Angie. The 15-year-old said she had not and turned to walk away.

Picard grabbed the girl from behind, held something to her neck, and yelled at her to get into his truck, according to the JPSO.

The girl managed to get away and ran toward West Napoleon Avenue.

Picard chased her, shouting commands for her to get into his truck while he ran, before returning to his BMW SUV and driving away.

At 8:45 p.m., Picard attacked a 28-year-old woman near the intersection of Jade Street and Buras Drive, putting a knife to her throat after grabbing her from behind.

The woman fell to the ground and began screaming and fighting with Picard, who slashed at her with the knife, causing minor injuries, according to the JPSO.

The woman was able to escape, and saw Picard circling her home in his silver BMW SUV about 10 minutes later.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Joseph Picard for two counts of attempted kidnapping, aggravated battery, and simple battery.

Numerous attempts to locate Picard have been unsuccessful thus far, according to the JPSO.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Joseph Picard and/or his vehicle is asked to call 911 or CRIMESTOPPERS.

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