Ponchatoula Police Thanks Agencies for Assistance at Strawberry Festival

Ponchatoula, La--Public Information Officer Tim Ridgel, reports for Chief Bry Layrisson that the Ponchatoula Police Department issued 90 violations for underage drinking during the Strawberry Festival this past weekend. The Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Control (ATC) issued an additional 37 violations for underage drinking. Chief Layrisson stated that one of the priorities of this year was to address underage consumption of alcohol. “I would like to thank the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the festival and especially enforcing the Friday night, “Family Night” which is alcohol free,” Layrisson said.

The Police Department was active throughout the weekend with other arrests being made, Layrisson reported. The Department made three DWI arrest as well one Narcotics arrest, one arrest for theft and one arrest for shoplifting. There were three arrests made for disturbing the peace. Layrisson reported no significant incidents as the weekend drew very large crowds each day.

Layrisson also thanked area law enforcement departments for sending additional personnel for security. The following agencies provided law enforcement officers: Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Control, Louisiana Probation and Patrol, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Amite Police, Southeastern Police, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Madisonville Police, Covington Police, Mandeville Police, Walker Police, and the Houma Police. “I credit all of the agencies for helping make our Strawberry Festival a great success. We pride ourselves in providing a safe, family-oriented festival. This could not be accomplished without their assistance, and for that I am very grateful,” Layrisson said.

Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival April 9-11

PONCHATOULA--Chief of Police Bry Layrisson and the Ponchatoula Police Department would like to welcome everyone to the 2010 Strawberry Festival. Over 250,000 guests are expected to visit Ponchatoula this weekend, and we are ready to keep your family safe while you enjoy the largest weekend festival in the State of Louisiana.
We would like to encourage all local residents to arrive at the festival early and try to carpool as much as possible. Due to the great success of our festival, the city is limited to the amount of available parking, Layrisson said.

The police department has teamed up with over a dozen different law enforcement agencies from throughout the state in order to ensure that we have a safe, family-oriented event again this year, Layrisson said. Rest assured that my officers and I will do everything we can to protect you while you enjoy our city and our nationally acclaimed festivities. Should you require police assistance, do not hesitate to contact me or any of my officers. We are here to serve you.

2010 Strawberry Festival Guidelines
• Parade: 9:30am on Saturday April 10, 2010 (begins at Lions Club on East Pine St., turns south on Seventh St. and ends at Kiwanis Park on West Magnolia St.)
• Parking spaces in the 100 blocks of East and West Pine will be barricaded off for pedestrian traffic only
• No 4-Wheelers will be allowed on roadways, sidewalks, or festival grounds Emergency Personnel Only—Fire/EMT/Police Dept.) Zero Tolerance
• Golf Carts and utility vehicles will be allowed (Must be 18 or older to operate)
• No Pets, Glass Bottles or Ice Chests on Festival Grounds
• Please obey all No Parking Signs – (will be strictly enforced and vehicle will be towed at owners expense)
• Handicap parking is reserved on North Seventh Street and West Beech Street
• Berry Farmers are to park in legal parking areas
• If you drink alcoholic beverages, please designate a driver

Police K-9 Finishes in Top 10

Ponchatoula--The police department K-9 Division returns from Regional Police Dog Trials as certified PD-1 Police Service Dogs, according to Chief of Police Bry Layrisson. The 2010 United States Police Canine Association’s (U.S.P.C.A.) Region 10 trials were held in Zachary, La on March 26 -30, 2010. Officer Steven Dailey with K-9 Indo and Officer Mike Hill with K-9 Billy certified their K-9 team in the Police Dog I category through the USPCA. The PD-1 category scores the K-9 team on obedience, agility, search, criminal apprehension and K-9 recall. The USPCA was formed in 1971 to promote the betterment and use of police K-9 teams. It is the oldest and the largest organization of its kind, Layrisson said.

Officer Steven Dailey and Indo placed 2nd in the Search Category and 5th in the field of Obedience. Dailey and K-9 Indo received 651.83 points out of a possible 700 putting the team in 8th place in a field of approximately 40 K-9 teams from the region. Officer Hill and K-9 Billy received 625.67 points out of a possible 700 putting the team in 17th place. This score places them in the top 20 of their region and qualified them to compete at the USPCA National Police Dog Trials, which will be held in Hammond, La October 31 through November 5th, 2010. “I would like to commend my officers for their hard work in earning these great accomplishments. Our K-9 division is making a serious difference in the war against drugs in our community,” Layrisson said.


Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

Ponchatoula- Public Information Officer, Tim Ridgel, reports for Chief Bry Layrisson that on March 28th at approximately 2:33am, officers observed a disturbance between a male and female subject in a vehicle. Officers observed the white male attempting to pull the female driver from the vehicle, while using loud and obscene language, Layrisson reported. The officer then approached the subject, later identified as Clayton John Johnson of North Haven in Ponchatoula, and advised him he was under arrest. As the officer was escorting Johnson to the patrol unit, Johnson attempted to pull away from the officer. Johnson was then handcuffed and during a pat down search, officers found a clear plastic bag containing a green leafy material believed to be Marijuana and a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance that field tested positive for Cocaine. Johnson admitted to officers that he had purchased the narcotics earlier in the day and that he used the drugs on a regular basis. Johnson was transported to the Ponchatoula Police Department and booked with Disturbing the Peace, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Cocaine, according to Layrisson. Johnson was then transported to the parish jail.


Ponchatoula Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested

TinglePONCHATOULA—On April 24, 2010, at approximately 2:30 a.m. two masked individuals entered the Circle K Gas Station in Ponchatoula and attempted to rob the cashier at gun point, according to Chief of Police Bry Layrisson. The clerk informed officers that a male subject yielded a sawed off shotgun as a female accomplice jumped over the counter and attempted to open the cash register. No one was injured in the incident and the offenders were unsuccessful in taking any money, Layrisson said.

Upon officers speaking with the cashier and investigating the matter further, officers developed leads that led to the names of the suspects. During the investigation, detectives with the Ponchatoula Police Department determined that the two offenders had been arrested in St. Tammany Parish for an additional armed robbery of a Kangaroo Gas Station on April 25, 2010, Layrisson said. The suspects were identified as Bryant Joseph Murray Jr., 19, of 537 South Third Street, Ponchatoula, and Regan Tingle, 21, of 402 West 26th Street, Covington. Bryant and Tingle were the only suspects charged in the Ponchatoula robbery attempt, Layrisson said. However three additional suspects were arrested for involvement in the St. Tammany robbery. The suspects are being held in the St. Tammany Parish Jail and Bryant and Tingle will be transported to Tangipahoa Parish upon their release by St. Tammany Officials, Layrisson reported.

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