Archives: July2015

St. Bernard Parish Announces Schedule of 10 Year Katrina Commemoration Events

Posted: July 30th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

katrina-logo-400Prayer Service, Recovery Project Tours, Memorial Service, Art Exhibitions, Community Celebration Set

St. Bernard Parish Government announced a slate of events that will be held in the parish during the month of August in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“Nothing has affected our community more than Hurricane Katrina,” said Parish President David Peralta. “Though the storm destroyed our parish, we should be proud how we came back after the unprecedented destruction.”

“Because Katrina’s waters engulfed our entire parish, we made sure that the commemoration included events in every part of St. Bernard,” said Michael Bayham, Chairman of the SBK10 Commemoration Committee. Ten years ago, we all suffered. Ten years later we should celebrate the progress we have made in our recovery while also remembering what we lost.

The SBK10 Commemoration Committee is comprised of individuals representing various businesses, the Chamber, Nunez College, St. Bernard Parish Schools, St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, St. Bernard Port, FEMA, GOHSEP, as well as employees of the Council and Parish Government.

Ten events have been planned, with most happening in the week leading up to the tenth anniversary of the storm making landfall on August 29th.

The first will be a special edition of the Elaine P. Nunez Community College lecture series on Monday, August 3rd at 7:00 p.m. centering on the hurricane and the response to it.

Then on Thursday, August 20th the Emerging Professional Council is holding a Day of Service on the feast day of St. Bernard at Torres Park from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

On Sunday, August 23rd at 6:30 p.m. a parishwide ecumenical prayer service will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Violet featuring New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond and local pastors.

Starting on Monday, August 24th and running through Thursday, August 27th there will be a series of “recovery tours” held at various public buildings, critical facilities and flood control structures across St. Bernard Parish that were repaired or built with funding from the federal and state government.

“The recovery tours are an important part of our commemoration as they serve to remind us how our countrymen helped rebuild St. Bernard through the investment of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Bayham.

On Wednesday, August 26th the Torres I Burns Trust and the Creative Alliance of New Orleans will hold an art exhibition titled The Spirit of St. Bernard: Portraits and Videos at the River House Museum in Poydras. The exhibition will begin at 4:00 p.m. and conclude at 7:00 p.m.

On Friday, August 28th at 8:30 a.m. the School Board will hold their annual Day of Reflection Breakfast at the Chalmette High School 9th Grade Academy. For information regarding tickets contact the School Board at (504) 301-2000.

Later that day Elaine P. Nunez Community College will open their ten year Katrina time capsule and hold a photo retrospective at 5:30 p.m.

On Saturday, August 29th there will be a memorial service for those who perished in the storm at the Katrina Memorial at Shell Beach at 9:00 a.m.

Studio Inferno in Arabi will be kickoff its Katrina art exhibition that will run through November 1st. The studio will open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.

The commemoration events will conclude on August 29th at Val Riess Park in Chalmette with a family festival from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. featuring refreshments, children’s entertainment, musical performances by Bobby Cure and the Summertime Blues and the Bucktown All Stars and a recognition of service to those civil servants and private citizens who engaged in search and rescue, provided assistance to stranded residents and played a role in the parish’s recovery activities.

While the anniversary of Katrina is a time for mourning for what we lost, it’s also an open house for St. Bernard; an opportunity to show the world that our parish is back, our flood protection is stronger and our public facilities and infrastructure are vastly improved and that St. Bernard is a safe and great place to live and raise a family

For more information call Mike Bayham at 504-278-1033 or visit:

Simple Robbery Suspect from Fruit Stand

Posted: July 16th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

Darren Caldwell Black/Male 12/27/1995

Darren Caldwell Black/Male 12/27/1995

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, deputies from the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of an attempted simple robbery at a local fruit stand located at 2913 Paris Road, Chalmette. Upon arriving, deputies learned that a male subject had just attempted to rob the proprietor of the business and had just fled the scene. A description was then broadcasted and within minutes deputies were in the area and quickly apprehended the suspect a short distance away. The suspect identified as Darren Caldwell, 19, of 9113 Gladiator Dr. in Chalmette was then positively identified by the victim as the person responsible for the attempted robbery. A follow-up investigation revealed that he was the same suspect responsible for the simple robbery of the same business on June 4, 2015. Caldwell was charged with one count of attempted simple robbery occurring on July 15, 2015 and another count of simple robbery stemming from the June 4 incident.

For further information please contact Colonel John Doran at (504)881-8466.

Watch for possible phone scams, Sheriff says

Posted: July 12th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

Sheriff James Pohlmann is warning parish residents to beware of possible phone scams that have been reported, ones apparently targeting older people.

The Sheriff’s Office has gotten reports of older people being called, told they owe money for unpaid services and are threatened they will be arrested if they don’t pay, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The sheriff said if you have received a bill for services unpaid that would ordinarily be a civil matter and not something you could be arrested over. There are certain specific instances where failure to pay can be theft, including stolen utility services, refusal to pay a restaurant bill or a cab fare and shoplifting in a store.

He said anyone threatening arrest over a bill they claim to have sent you is possibly trying to scam you.

In such a situation, Sheriff Pohlnann said, tell the caller to re-send a bill stating what services you owe them for so you can examine what they are talking about. If it was a scam attempt you probably won’t receive anything from them.

Any time you feel someone is trying to trick you out of money, call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 to report it.

Two males arrested in thefts of five vehicles

Posted: July 10th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

auto-thefts-07-13-2015A young man and a 16-year-old juvenile male have been arrested in the thefts of three cars and two trucks in St. Bernard Parish, four of which have been recovered, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Trevor Encalade Jr., 18, 1920 Joseph Drive in eastern St. Bernard Parish, and a 16-year-old whose name wasn’t released because he is a minor, have been arrested.

Encalade is booked with four counts of auto theft and the juvenile was booked with three counts of auto theft. Between them they stole the five vehicles involved, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Encalade was arrested on one count of theft on June 30 after a victim identified him as the person who stole his truck from his driveway on South River Park Drive in Violet. The victim followed him in another vehicle until the thief stalled out the vehicle in the 2500 block of East St. Bernard Highway in Meraux and its owner struggled with him but the young man escaped.
Encalade was arrested later that day and was being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $15,000.

On Friday, July 10, after sheriff’s Detectives Lt. Richard Mendel and Ryan Melerine developed further information on other thefts, Encalade and the juvenile were booked with three counts each of auto theft.

Encalade will be arraigned on the additional charges and a new bond will be set. The juvenile, taken to the St. Bernard Juvenile Detention Center, also is wanted in New Orleans on an arrest warrant alleging one count of simple robbery.

Four of the stolen vehicles have been recovered in a wooded area in eastern St. Bernard and one remains missing, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Southern Male Barbershop of Chalmette holds Ribbon-Cutting

Posted: July 10th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

ribbon-cuttingOwners Daniel Bostic and Erica Ricks of Southern Male Barbershop held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8340 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette to celebrate opening their business.

Joining them were Sheriff James Pohlman, Parish President David Peralta, Council members Ray Lauga, Casey Hunnicutt and Richie Lewis, State Rep. Ray Garofalo, Chamber President Cindi Meyer, Chamber Executive Director Stephen Reuther and Maj. Chad Clark of the Sheriff’s Office.

Southern Male Barbershop offers classic barbershop services including haircuts, shampoos, hot shaves and waxing. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 309-3387 or visit

Motorcycle Crash in St. Bernard Parish Claims Life

Posted: July 10th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

louisiana-stateOn Thursday night, at approximately 9:15 PM, Louisiana State Police Troop B investigated a fatal crash on LA 46 at mile post 38. The crash claimed the life of 21 year old Greg Matlock Jr. of St. Bernard Parish.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Matlock was the passenger on a 2008 Honda motorcycle that was traveling west on LA 46 with no lights. The driver of the motorcycle has not yet been identified. A 2000 Dodge Ram truck, driven by 27 year old Jimmie Hutchinson Jr. of Violet, was traveling east on LA 46 and made a left turn onto Park River Drive.

The motorcycle struck the Dodge and both occupants of the motorcycle were ejected. Matlock and the unidentified driver were transported to University Medical Center. Matlock died as a result of his injuries and the driver is in critical condition. Neither were wearing helmets.

Impairment is not suspected for Hutchinson and he voluntarily submitted to a breath and blood test and those results are pending. The crash remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending.

Registration open now for the free, popular St. Bernard Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy which starts Wednesday, Aug. 26; Some 650 people have graduated since 1999

Posted: July 8th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

A large group of participants listen to Capt. Charles Borchers on the opening night of the Sheriff's Citizens Police Academy in 2014.

A large group of participants listen to Capt. Charles Borchers on the opening night of the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy in 2014.

There’s no better way to learn about law enforcement than the popular and free St. Bernard Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy starting Wednesday, Aug. 26, where participants will learn about what police work entails in the parish, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Parish residents can register now for the 10-week course which allows them to ask questions to experienced officers and learn frank and specific information, as well as give their input.

Call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 to register. Classes will meet each Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through graduation night in October. Borchers coordinates the class, assisted by Dep. Sheriff Eric Eilers.

Sheriff Pohlmann said, “Our Citizens Police Academy classes will answer a lot of the questions you may have about law enforcement here and why things are done the way they are.’’

Graduates, he said, become “ambassadors for law enforcement because they have a vested interest in what happens’’ in St. Bernard.

Classes will be held in the Sheriff’s Office 2nd-floor Training Center in a parish government building at 2118 Jackson Ave. in Chalmette, immediately behind the Parish Courthouse. The Assessor’s Office is in the same building.

Borchers, head of Community Relations for the Sheriff’s Office, runs the Citizens Police Academy classes and coordinates Neighborhood Watch programs and the National Night Out Against Crime event for the department.

Anyone who wants to start a Neighborhood Watch on their street, hold a Night Out Against Crime get-together or apply for the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division should also call Borchers.

Any resident who has attended sheriff’s lectures on how to avoid being a victim of crime would find the Citizens Police Academy another interesting learning tool, Pohlmann said.

Some 650 parish residents have graduated the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy in St. Bernard since its inception in 1999.

There are numerous features to the Citizens Police Academy program which participants say they enjoy, such as:

– Hearing from sheriff’s commanders on various phases of law enforcement including patrol work, narcotics enforcement, detective duties and SWAT team demonstrations.
– Receiving boating safety tips.
– Experiencing a firearms simulator program which has participants react to computerized scenarios asking them to make split-second decisions on whether to shoot a criminal suspect.
– Hands-on demonstrations of equipment including the new mobile Command Post purchased with a grant, department weapons and a bomb robot used for checking suspicious items are also part of the program.
– On-site tours of Parish Prison and the Parish Courthouse.
– Lectures from law enforcement agencies from outside St. Bernard.

The classes will feature speakers from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and are geared to fostering good relations between the community and law enforcement.

This is the seventh year for the Sheriff’s Citizens Police Academy since sessions resumed after Hurricane Katrina, said Borchers.

Seafood lunch fundraiser to be held Friday, July 17, starting at 11 a.m. to benefit Dep. Sheriff Lt. Ray Whitfield, who has been out because of a lengthy illness

Posted: July 8th, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases
The shirt designed for the fundraiser.

The shirt designed for the fundraiser.

Lt. Ray Whitfield

Lt. Ray Whitfield

A seafood lunch will be held Friday, July 17, starting at 11 a.m. as a fundraiser to benefit Dep. Sheriff Lt. Ray Whitfield who has been out because of a lengthy illness.

Lunches to go will be sold for $10 each outside the Sheriff’s Office Annex behind the Parish Courthouse at No. 2 Courthouse Square in Chalmette.

“We invite everyone to come out and help Lt. Ray Whitfield, who has done his part over the years to help the people of this parish,” Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Whitfield has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1991, working as a patrol deputy and as a detective in the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

He is also a 2013 graduate of the prestigious FBI National Training Academy in Quantico, Va., the 19th St. Bernard Sheriff’s Deputy to complete the 10-week session.

Chalmette man arrested for sex crimes with a juvenile girl

Posted: July 3rd, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

Michael Labruzzo, booked with sex crime charges involving a juvenile girl.

Michael Labruzzo, booked with sex crime charges
involving a juvenile girl.

A Chalmette man has been booked with several sex crime charges involving a juvenile girl, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Michael Labruzzo, 36, 3601 Despaux Drive, was arrested recently on one count of aggravated crime against nature and one count of sexual battery.

The incidents allegedly happened the night of June 14 and the juvenile reported it to the Sheriff’s Office. Labruzzo was arrested on a warrant issued by a judge after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Division.

Labruzzo was booked into St. Bernard Parish Prison but has been released on $100,000 bond.

Knights of Nemesis makes donation to Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division for the work the volunteer officers’ group does in its annual Carnival parade and its Hook a Kid on Fishing rodeo

Posted: July 2nd, 2015 | Filed under: News Releases

nemesis-034-07022015The Knights of Nemesis Carnival krewe has made a donation to the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Division for the work the volunteer officers’ group does in Nemesis’ annual parade and its Hook a Kid on Fishing rodeo

Shown at the check presentation are, from left, Nemesis board members Shelton McMillan and Danny Fernandez, Reserve Division officers Dep. Michael Chutz and Sgt. Scott Bowles, Capt. Charles Borchers who is coordinator of the Reserve Division, Nemesis board members Robby Showalter and Billy Showalter, Sheriff James Pohlmann and board member Jim Bennett.

The Carnival group makes quarterly donations to charitable and non-profit groups, based on members’ recommendations.