St. John man caught after long police chase

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A police chase across two parishes that stemmed from a carjacking in LaPlace led to the arrest of a St. John man early Tuesday morning, said authorities from the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

Maj. Mike Tregre, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said 18-year-old Deaneal Rachal was apprehended by Kenner Police officers after he bailed out of a green 1995 Cadillac Seville while driving along Airline Highway near Louis Armstrong International Airport. Tregre said the vehicle had been reported stolen in LaPlace just after midnight Tuesday.

Rachal, who provided police with addresses in LaPlace and Reserve, is being held in Kenner and will face charges in St. John and St. Charles Parishes. Tregre said when Rachal is booked into the St. John system, a bond will be set at $100,000.

According to a report on the incident, the carjacking occurred around 12:39 a.m. at the intersection of Yorktowne and Revere Drives in LaPlace. The victim, a 35-year-old LaPlace man, told deputies that while he was driving down Revere Drive, a man who fit Rachal’s description flagged him down. The victim said the suspect produced a long barreled gun and ordered him out of the vehicle. The suspect took an unspecified amount of money from the victim and took off in the car.

Roughly an hour and a half after St. John deputies alerted surrounding agencies of the carjacking, St. Charles deputies spotted the vehicle heading down Airline Highway toward Kenner and a pursuit involving officers from St. Charles, Kenner, and State Police initiated.

The pursuit ended with a foot chase once the driver finally abandoned the vehicle not far from the airport. Police recovered the weapon used in the carjacking inside the victim’s vehicle, and Rachal was identified as the suspect based on a photographic lineup.

Tregre said Rachal has a prior arrests in St. John for aggravated battery and drug charges. Anyone with information involving the carjacking or any crimes involving Rachal should contact the St. John Sheriff’s Office at 985-652-9514.