Ponchatoula man arrested for alleged sex crimes against 11-year-old girl

PONCHATOULA--01/05/2011-A 53-year-old Ponchatoula man has been arrested and charged with six felony counts involving sex crimes against an 11-year-old girl.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said Michael Mitchel of Jackson St. in Ponchatoula has been arrested and charged with two counts each of molestation of a juvenile, indecent behavior, and forcible fondling after an investigation found that Mitchel allegedly sexually battered the child.

Layrisson said officers spent several days investigating a complaint filed by the girl's mother who told police her child confided in her that Mitchel had been coming by the house, bringing the girl money and gifts, and that he had allegedly exposed himself and touched her private parts. Officers said the child, expressing fear for her family's safety, was hesitant to discuss the allegations but later confirmed everything her mother claimed.

Officers reassured the girl and her mother that they would take whatever measures possible to protect them, if they pursued charges against the suspect.

The following day, the mother contacted police again to say she had allegedly caught the suspect pressing himself between her daughter's legs during another incident in the girl's home. The child confirmed the story, and police made contact with the suspect, demanding he come down to the police station to answer questions on a pending investigation.

Mitchel was interviewed by police and allegedly admitted that he was in love with the girl. He also allegedly told police he did not know how old the girl was and that he had bought the girl lingerie, assuming she was 18. Layrisson said Mitchel became beligerent during questioning, claiming that he was being "set up" by the mother and denying ever "sexually harassing" the girl.

Layrisson said police arrested Mitchel and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite where he remained as of late Wednesday.

Ponchatoula man, stopped for speeding, arrested for outstanding warrants, driving under suspension

PONCHATOULA--01/06/2011-A 32-year-old Ponchatoula man who was stopped by police for speeding on Highway 22 was ultimately arrested for two outstanding warrants and driving under suspension Tuesday night.
Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said Herman Ellix Hill, Jr., of Esterbrook Road in Ponchatoula, was stopped after police clocked him driving 44 mph in a posted 35 mph zone on E. Pine Street in downtown Ponchatoula.

In the process of interviewing Hill, officers discovered Hill did not have a valid driver's license, and that his license had actually been suspended. A background check on the driver also revealed that he had two outstanding warrants on failure to appear charges.

Police arrested Hill, issuing him a citation for a February court date before city magistrate Robert Barsley on the traffic offenses and the outstanding warrants.

Layrisson: Police arrest multiple offender Friday; judge releases suspect one day later

PONCHATOULA--01/11/11-A 29-year-old suspect identified as a "multiple offender" who was arrested Friday afternoon by Ponchatoula Police on 19 counts was released on his own recognizance one day later on the order of a 21st Judicial District Court Judge.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said 29-year-old Christopher Ryan Wilson of N. Barrone St. in Ponchatoula was arrested shortly after lunch Friday on 19 counts ranging from traffic violations to drug charges, and resisting arrest with force.

This is the second time in a week that Wilson was arrested on charges involving violence, Layrisson said, noting that in the last year, Wilson has accumulated 31 charges that are still pending with his department.

In this most recent case, Wilson is accused of refusing to yield to a traffic stop after officers allegedly clocked him doing 44 in a 25 miles-per-hour zone on NW Railroad Ave. near the fire station. Wilson led officers on a 10-minute car chase through the streets of Ponchatoula before finally parking at his residence on N. Barrone St. Officers allege that in the process, Wilson supposedly committed a variety of traffic violations, threw something out of his passenger window into the roadway, and upon stopping at his residence, putting the car into reverse, forcing officers to leave the roadway before having to chase the suspect to his house.

The suspect is accused of resisting arrest, kicking officers, lifting them off the ground, and grabbing a police dog's mouth to stop the K-9 from biting. Ultimately, officers were able to bring the suspect to the ground and detain him. Wilson's mother, Dorothy Wilson, 62, of the same Barrone St. address, is accused of interfering with the arrest and simple assault, for trying to stop officers from arresting her son. Dorothy Wilson sustained injuries when the K9 attacked her in the course of duty, and she was treated both by Acadian Ambulance and at Lallie Kemp in Independence for those wounds.

Layrisson said Christopher Wilson was charged with 19 counts, as follows: 2 counts running stop sign, speeding 11-20 over, reckless operation of a vehicle, four counts battery on a police officer, 1 count injuring a police animal, 4 counts resisting a police officer with force or violence, 1 count each of aggravated criminal damage to property, possession of Schedule IV drugs, possession of marijuana, resisting an officer by flight, negligent injuring, and obstruction of justice. He was taken to North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond for injuries sustained in his capture and was arrested into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail where he was released Saturday on his own recognizance.

Layrisson said he was very upset that this violent, multiple offender had been released from prison on a judge's order. Currently, Wilson has 15 felony arrests and 16 misdemeanor charges pending against him through the Ponchatoula Police Department, including multiple domestic violence charges, a cruelty to a juvenile charge, and seven counts of resisting arrest by force or violence.

21st Judicial District Court Judge Ernest G. Drake of Ponchatoula released Wilson, ordering him to return to court for a hearing on the charges March 10. Layrisson: Police arrest multiple offender Friday; judge releases suspect one day later

Ponchatoula Police net six arrests in seven hours Thursday

PONCHATOULA---01/21/2011 - In less than seven hours Thursday, Ponchatoula Police arrested six suspects on drug-related charges as officers step up their patrols in known drug-trafficking areas of town.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said the following individuals were arrested Thursday afternoon:

*Alyson Marie DeFisher, 54, of North Haven Court in Ponchatoula, was charged with possession of marijuana;
*Joshua DeFisher, 18, of North Haven Court in Ponchatoula, was charged with traffic offenses;
*Bryan Keith Remble, 41, of Chapman Road in Hammond, was issued a traffic citation and charged with having an open container in his vehicle;
*Veronica Lyn Knight, 19, of East Nickens Road, Hammond, was charged with improper lane usage, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana;
*Michael Shane Dantone, 20, of Faber Farms in Ponchatoula, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and failure to appear
*Jacob Scott White, 19, of Sam Arnold Road in Ponchatoula, was charged with possession of marijuana.

Layrisson said officers initiated all three cases based on driving citations. He commended the patrol officers for using their powers of observation and good police work in making these arrests, which resulted in the confiscation of drugs and paraphernalia off the streets of Ponchatoula.

The suspects were charged and issued summons for the charges. All contraband was logged into evidence and submitted for further analysis, Layrisson said.

The chief said his department has received numerous citizen requests for extra patrols in certain known, high-crime areas of town, and that as a result, officers have become very proactive in those parts of the city.

"I assure the people of Ponchatoula that we are taking our streets back from the drugs," Layrisson said, adding that his officers are working diligently to bring those involved in drug running in Ponchatoula to justice.

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