Violent incidents increase around housing developments

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 16, 2002


LAPLACE – All is not calm in the Reserve Oaks Housing Development, where a raid by the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office was executed Aug. 8 to curb violent crime, as more violence erupted during the weekend.

Capt. Michael Tregre reported gunfire in the housing project resulted in a female tenant being hit by .40-caliber bullet in her left leg. Also, a mattress was set on fire in another apartment.

Tregre said the woman was sleeping Sunday at her apartment in the 200 block of East 13th Street when she was awakened after 11 p.m. by the sound of gunfire. A bullet struck her in her left calf as she lay in bed. Also, in the 200 block of East 13th Street, a mattress was set on fire on the side of an apartment building, in an apparent arson attempt.

In other police news during the weekend, a fight outside the Odyssey Lounge on East Airline Highway resulted in two arrests. Tregre said an off-duty sheriff’s deputy at the lounge called in a report of a fight in the parking lot involving several people on Sunday at 2:26 a.m. The officer at the scene, at 403 E. Airline, tried to calm the situation, which included Edward Jermaine Morris, 25, of 265 Historic East St., brandishing a 9mm semiautomatic. The officer saw Morris try to dump an unknown object near the neighboring convenience store and, when more deputies arrive, Ken Bardell, 21, of 183 S. Church St., Garyville, likewise dropped an unknown object.

When rounded up, the item dropped by Morris proved to be a small quantity of cocaine, while the item dropped by Bardell proved to be a bag of marijuana. Morris was charged with disturbing the peace in a violent manner with three or more people, resisting an officer by violence, possession of cocaine, aggravated assault on a police officer with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and illegal use of a firearm during a felony.

Bardell was charged with possession of marijuana.

Finally, sheriff’s deputies were called to a disturbance at a dance Saturday at 10:28 p.m. at Fifth Ward Elementary School. When deputies arrived, they saw several men loitering outside the school. When they attempted to break up the group, six refused to disperse and shouted obscenities.

At this point, the group scattered running and after a foot chase, two were caught. A patdown of James T. Wilson III, 20, of 1041 Balsam St., LaPlace, turned up a .38-caliber revolver. Wilson was charged with illegal carrying of a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm on school grounds.