St. Charles deputy killed on duty one of many remembered

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

By Monique Roth

Deputy Jeff Watson, a St. Charles Parish police officer killed on duty Aug. 4, was one of the fallen officers memorialized at the 32nd annual St. Charles Parish Peace Officers’ Memorial Service held Monday.

Watson, a seven-year veteran with the department, died in a car crash on Paul Maillard Road in Luling while responding to a call. A resident of Destrehan, Watson previously worked for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for five years and is survived by his wife Lynsey and stepdaughter Abrial.

Patrick Yoes, public information officer with the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, said Watson is the fourth man who paid the ultimate price while protecting the people of St. Charles Parish. He joins Sheriff Lewis Ory, who died by gunfire in 1903 while trying to apprehend a fugitive; Deputy James Arterbury, who died in 1973 when he was shot while answering a domestic dispute call; and Deputy Nelson Coleman, who died of a heart attack in 1982 while struggling with a suspect.

“Rest in peace our brothers,” St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said. “You made St. Charles Parish a better place, and your memory will live on for all eternity.”

Monday’s ceremony was held at the site of a monument that memorializes the four men. The monument is in front of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Complex located at 260 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway in Luling. The addition of a statue to the monument was unveiled at the ceremony.

“May we never forget these men, and may we never add another name to this monument,” Yoes said.

Other Louisiana peace officers who died in 2013 were also honored at the service. They included Eric Bellard, Steven Netherland, Frederick Riggenbach, Peggy Sylvester, Rodney Thomas and Dustin Hamilton.