Female cashier punched in face; suspect arrested in attic

Published 3:42 pm Friday, January 22, 2016

LAPLACE — A local man is behind bars after authorities say he punched a female cashier in the face and fled from police before ultimately being found hiding in an attic.

James Tolbert

James Tolbert

Sheriff Mike Tregre said James Tolbert, 26, of LaPlace was arrested for an outstanding fugitive warrant for Terrebonne Parish, flight from an officer, speeding, possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, driver must be licensed and second-degree robbery.

He remains in custody in lieu of a $67,500 bond.

The buildup to his arrest, according to Tregre, began when St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Millet Food Center, 1525 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, following a robbery at 8:45 p.m. Thursday.

The cashier told deputies a man jumped over the counter, punched her in the face and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

“EMS treated the cashier at the scene for minor injuries,” Tregre said, adding the victim refused additional medical care.

Deputies received descriptions of the perpetrator and the getaway car that fled south on Hemlock Drive. Officers in Reserve saw a car traveling west on Louisiana 44 that matched the description of the getaway car.

“When deputies stopped the car on East 24th Street, the subject abandoned the car and fled on foot to evade deputies,” Tregre said. “The registered owner of the car, who lives at a residence in the 200 block of East 24th Street, told deputies (Tolbert) had the car all day.”

Deputies located Tolbert at the residence in the attic and arrested him.