Archives: August2016

East St. Bernard Highway expected to be closed several hours from Judy Drive to Paul Drive

Posted: August 18th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

An accident at East St. Bernard Highway at Judy Drive on Thursday morning is expected to cause the roadway to be closed several hours today from Judy Drive to Paul Drive, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

A dump truck pulled down wires and broke a power pole before 8:30 a.m., resulting in the road closure for several blocks.

Traffic will be re-routed until repairs are made and that portion of East Bernard Highway can be re-opened.

Man booked with attempted murder after beating another man with a hammer, fracturing facial bones and causing other injuries

Posted: August 17th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

Jose Vasquez-Matute, booked with attempted murder in Arabi.

Jose Vasquez-Matute, booked with attempted murder in Arabi.

A man has been booked with attempted murder after beating another man with a hammer, fracturing facial bones and causing other injuries, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Jose Vasquez-Matute, 33, who refused to give an address after his arrest, was booked with attempted murder and flight from an officer after his arrest in Arabi in the early morning hours of Aug. 14, the sheriff said.

Vasquez-Matute beat Vincente Lopez, 17, of Chalmette, in an incident that occurred just before 3 a.m. on the street in the 7500 block of West Judge Perez Drive in Arabi.

The victim was taken to LSU Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The arrested subject declined to make a statement about the cause of the incident.

When the beating was taken place, a St. Bernard Parish resident who witnessed it interceded and helped stop the attack before sheriff’s deputies arrived, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Vasquez-Matute fled on foot but sheriff’s deputies caught him in an alley within a short period of time, the sheriff said. The arrested suspect dropped the hammer as he fled but it was recovered as evidence. His clothing was stained with blood when he was arrested.

Vasquez-Matute is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison in lieu of bond set at $201,000.

Two 13-year-old boys booked with burglarizing a car and truck in Chalmette and separately a 14-year-old was booked with burglarizing buildings at Chalmette High and a business

Posted: August 16th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

Two 13-year-old Chalmette boys were booked with burglarizing a car and a truck and stealing cell phones after admitting they had been pulling on vehicle door handles to see if they were open, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Separately, a 14-year-old boy was booked with burglarizing several buildings at Chalmette High and a business in Chalmette, the sheriff said.

Their names weren’t released because they are minors.

The two vehicle burglars, who also were both booked with criminal mischief, were spotted walking about 1:20 a.m. on Aug. 13 after a call about suspicious subjects pulling on door handles, the sheriff said.

In the presence of their mothers who were contacted about the incidents, the boys admitted they were pulling on several door handles looking for open vehicles and surrendered two stolen cell phones, then showed deputies which vehicles they burglarized, which were on  on Pakenham Drive and West St. Avide. The owners were informed of the burglaries and were given back their property.

Sheriff Pohlmann reminds residents to lock their vehicles when they aren’t in use because the great majority of such burglaries in St. Bernard Parish happen when they vehicles are left unlocked.

In the unrelated arrested of the 14-year-old, he was initially booked with burglaries of several buildings at Chalmette High, then was re-booked with a burglary of a business which occurred the same night, the sheriff said.

All of the boys involved were taken to the St. Bernard Juvenile Detention Center.

Sheriff’s Office and Fire department participates in rescue efforts of residents from rising water in Baton Rouge and other communities

Posted: August 15th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News
 Ten of the 11 St. Bernard sheriff's deputies sent to help with flooding conditions in Baton Rouge.

Ten of the 11 St. Bernard sheriff’s deputies sent to help with flooding conditions in Baton Rouge.

Sheriff's Office high-water vehicle that was brought to Baton Rouge.

Sheriff’s Office high-water vehicle that was brought to Baton Rouge.

Capt. Ronnie Martin carries a baby from a home on a flooded street.

Capt. Ronnie Martin carries a baby from a home on a flooded street.

Sheriff James Pohlmann sent 11 sheriff’s deputies and equipment and the Fire Department sent seven people and some equipment to Baton Rouge and other communities for several days to participate in rescue efforts of residents from rising water.

“We wanted to help and I volunteered to send people and equipment,’’ said Sheriff Pohlmann, who also went to the affected parishes.

“I remember the state Sheriff’s Association helped us in significant ways after Hurricane Katrina and I wanted to return the favor to other law enforcement agencies.’’

The Sheriff’s Office sent a high water truck that holds numerous people and several boats and other trucks.

Officers and equipmemt were in the Baton Rouge area from Friday through Monday and officers were to be sent to Livingston Parish also, the sheriff said.

Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Ellis said the Fire Department sent two boars and seven firefighters/swift water rescue technicians to Baton Rouge, Watson and Walker and some of them will be replaced with others.

Thousands of people needed rescue from homes that were inundated by rising water caused by days of heavy rains.

Man booked with computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile teen-age girl after allegedly creating an elaborate scheme that included him posing as a girl in inappropriate texts to the victim

Posted: August 12th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

A Chalmette man has been booked with computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile teen-age girl after allegedly creating an elaborate scheme that included him posing as a girl and pretending to be a friend of the victim in numerous inappropriate texts, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Both the victim who received the texts and the girl the suspect pretended to be are juvenile teen-agers, the sheriff said.

Paul Bradford, 21, 3316 Jackson Boulevard, was arrested Aug. 1 after an investigation of what was initially reported as a possible hack of the email account of one girl.

Sheriff’s detectives determined Bradford had actually created an email account pretending to be one girl and began sending numerous inappropriate texts to a friend of that girl, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The investigation is continuing and other charges are possible, the sheriff said.

Anyone who believes they were victimized by Bradford should report it to the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at (504) 278-7630.

Bradford has been released from St. Bernard Parish Prison on a $10,000 bond.

In unrelated investigations, two Chalmette teen-age male juveniles have been booked with a total of three vehicle burglaries and two attempted burglaries, Sheriff Pohlmann said.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested July 31 and booked with two counts of attempted vehicle burglaries when he was recognized by sheriff’s deputies as one of two boys seen on a surveillance video pulling on door handles in an attempt to burglarize vehicles, the sheriff said.

The same boy was arrested again Aug. 5 and booked with two vehicle burglaries.

In a separate incident, a 13-year-old boy has been booked with vehicle burglary and another boy with him is sought, the sheriff said.

Sheriff warns of attempted phone scams by people pretending to be IRS agents and trying to intimidate residents to pay phony tax debts

Posted: August 9th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

Sheriff James Pohlmann is warning residents to be aware of an attempted phone scam by individuals pretending to be Internal Revenue Service agents and try to intimidate people to pay phony tax debts.

The callers tell people the IRS has found mistakes made on their tax filing from a year or more ago and insist they will be arrested if they don’t pay their debt over the phone or send the money in another form of payment, the sheriff said.

They even insist an arrest warrant has been issued for the people called and say officers will be at their home shortly if they don’t pay.

“Don’t fall for this scam attempt,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t call people and pressure them to pay over the phone or be arrested, he said.

10 St. Bernard deputies and three officers from other departments graduate 90-hour course in Chalmette dealing with working in a corrections environment

Posted: August 9th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

DSCN3225Ten St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputies and three officers from other departments graduated Aug. 5 after a 90-hour Corrections Division course in Peace Officers Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T., dealing with working in a prison environment or Juvenile Detention Center, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

P.O.S.T. Corrections is aimed at preparing deputies for their careers in Corrections. Topics covered in the training include defensive tactics, use of pepper spray which involved each officer being pepper-sprayed to deal with its effects, booking procedures, writing reports and other aspects of working in corrections. A new element of the class is the inclusion of a use of force lesson plan.

The course was given by instructors from the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division and was held at the Sheriff’s Office Training Center in Chalmette.

Shown are members of the class and an instructor from the Corrections Division: from left standing, Lt. Dennis Morgan, a Master P.O.S.T. instructor; St. Bernard officers Cpl. Melba Sue Garcia, Dep. Johnny White, Dep. April Doane, Dep. Sean Williams. Dep. William Serigne, Dep. Brandon Domino, Dep. Collin Mills, Dep. John Laylle, Dep. Stacey Jordan and Dep. Nikolaos Stafford

Kneeling from left are officers Devon Ferguson and Nicole Dupuy, both of the Slidell Police Department; and Dep. Errol Ragas of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Not pictured are Master P.O.S.T. instructor Cpl. Brandon Lewis and Capt. Adrian Chalona, who also instructed the class.

Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team continues to train in public buildings to react to possible armed intruders

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News


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DSCN3214Sheriff James Pohlmann said his department continues training for possibilities that everyone involved hopes will never have to be dealt with – an armed intruder in a public area, a business, school or government building.

“It’s a question of being prepared in advance for what could happen, while hoping it doesn’t happen,’’ the sheriff said. “In today’s environment, it’s the preparation that’s crucial.’’

Recently, the Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics team, or S.W.A T. team, has been undergoing response training to armed intruder situations

Most recently they trained in buildings at Nunez College in Chalmette.

Since the start of the year they have also trained in the Parish Courthouse, in the Parish government building, in the Sigur Civic Center, in schools and at an abandoned school site.

“I am pleased with what is being accomplished,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “I am confident S.W.A.T. team members would work well together if there was an intruder situation.”

Under the supervision of S.W.A.T. Commander Capt. Robert Norton, they have worked on tactics for clearing buildings by room searches. Capt. Ronnie Martin is Assistant Commander.

“It’s good to look at floor plans of buildings,’’ Norton said recently “but you have to physically go through a building and do it with repetition to build muscle memory’’ so officers are sure in their reactions. “Then they can work as a group.’’

Sheriff’s Office seeks identity of two men seen on video burglarizing an auto in Chalmette

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help to identify two men seen on video burglarizing an auto in Chalmette in the early morning of Aug. 3, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Anyone with information on the names of the suspects should call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

The two apparent white men, both wearing shorts and pullover shirts, burglarized a vehicle in the 3000 block of Tournefort Street just after midnight, stealing a wallet and other items.

The vehicle had been left unlocked. Sheriff Pohlmann recommends residents lock their vehicles at all times when they aren’t in use. The great majority of auto burglaries reported in St. Bernard Parish involve vehicles left unlocked.

Sheriff invites public to take the free Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy class starting Aug. 24 and featuring a firearms simulator in which you make a split-second decision on whether to use lethal force on a suspect; Call 278-7628 or 278-7799 to register

Posted: August 2nd, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News

CitizensPoliceaug2Participants in a past Citizens Police Academy class watch a video that calls on them to make a split-second decision on whether to use lethal force on a criminal suspect.

Sheriff James Pohlmann is inviting the public to see what it is like to be in the shoes of a police officer and have to make a split-second decision on a situation to determine whether to use lethal force on a criminal suspect.
St. Bernard residents can register now for the free and popular Citizens Police Academy classes starting Aug. 24, which features a firearms simulator with computerized videos of situations an officer could face.
Members of the class then make a quick decision whether to fire on a suspect – the same decision an actual officer would have to make. Sometimes the videos show an officer would need to use lethal force to save their life or someone else’s and sometimes there is no actual threat.
Call Capt. Charles Borchers at (504) 278-7628 or Dep. Sheriff Eric Eilers at (504) 278-7799 to register now for the 10-week course, which includes a graduation ceremony on Oct. 26.

“It’s interesting and makes you think,” Sheriff Pohlmann said of the firearms simulator, which is borrowed from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. “It gives you a feel of what could happen to an officer in an actual situation in which a split-second decision is required.” The simulator is also used for refresher training by deputies, the sheriff said.
Handguns powered by CO2 gas are used in the simulator, which many people taking the classes say is the highlight of the course because it is so realistic.
More than 700 parish residents have taken the Citizens Police Academy classes since they were started in the late 1990s. This is the 18th session of the classes.

Classes are held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights 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.

Residents taking the class will learn numerous other things about law enforcement and have the chance to ask questions and receive frank answers from veteran officers.

“Participants will learn about what police work entails in the parish,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“And this year we have added a class on crime prevention, which will touch on home security and personal safety.”

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

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, S.W.A.T. team demonstrations.
– Receiving boating safety tips.
– Hands-on demonstrations of equipment including weapons and a bomb robot used for checking suspicious items are also part of the program.
— Get information about the parish’s battered women’s program.
– On-site tours of Parish Prison and the Parish Courthouse.
– Lectures from law enforcement agencies from outside St. Bernard.