Ponchatoula Police charge pair with home invasion burglary

PONCHATOULA---02/03/11 - Ponchatoula Police have arrested two suspects who are accused in a home-invasion burglary that occurred Tuesday afternoon.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said officers arrested 38-year-old Michael Rheams of E. Willow St. in Ponchatoula and 38-year-old Julie Lucas of Douglas ONeal Lane, also in Ponchatoula, in connection with the case.

Layrisson said officers were called to a Ponchatoula residence in connection with a daytime home invasion burglary involving weapons. Upon arrival, officers found the suspects engaged in a verbal altercation with the complainants. Police were quickly able to clear the scene and began interviewing the parties involved.

The victims allege that while they were at home, Rheams kicked open their front door, entered the home carrying a long-barreled shot gun, and pointed the weapon at the inhabitants of the home. The victims allege Rheams threatened to kill them if anyone moved. When one victim tried to flee, Rheams allegedly pointed the gun at that individual and said, "I will kill you." The victim tried to fight and Rheams allegedly struck that person with a "closed fist to the lower left area of the face" and threw the individual to the ground, police reports indicate.

The victims claim Lucas then entered the home, engaged in a verbal confrontation with several of the victims, and the suspects then tried to flee the property but their vehicle became stuck in the mud outside the home.

Police said the suspects denied having any weapons and allegedly gave officers consent to search their vehicle. Police recovered an "un-fired red buck shot" located in the center console of the vehicle and "an unloaded shot gun placed in a roll of metal mesh" along a canal at the address.

Police collected the weapons into evidence, had the suspect's vehicle towed, and arrested the pair, who were booked. Rheams is charged with Home Invasion Burglary and Simple Battery; Lucas is charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and disturbing the peace (loud and abusive language).

Both suspects were then transported to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite.

Suspicious person call results in two arrests in Ponchatoula Sunday night

PONCHATOULA---02/07/2011--Two Independence residents who were interviewed in a suspicious person case reported by a concerned citizen were arrested by Ponchatoula Police Sunday evening on a number of charges.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson said Joe Adolphus White, II, 24, of Horse Shoe Road in Independence, and Chelsea Lynne Drew, 20, of Honey Suckle St. in Independence, were arrested on a variety of charges after a concerned citizen reported a possible vehicle burglary in progress at an abandoned house in town shortly just before midnight Sunday night.

Investigating officers responded and found White and Drew, who were allegedly obstructing traffic on the scene. Officers interviewed the suspects and allegedly found White in possession of a Schedule II narcotic (marijuana) and Drew in allegedly in possession of an open alcoholic beverage in their vehicle. Officers also cited White for simple obstruction, no license plates/registration, and no insurance.

Layrisson commended the concerned citizen for filing a complaint with the department when that individual saw what was believed to be suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

"Our Ponchatoula Police Department is proud to have such a strong partnership with local citizens and the community. We advocate the neighborhood watch philosophy, and this citizen followed through on exactly what we ask residents to do--to contact our officers if there is ever a doubt that criminal activity may be happening," Layrisson said.

Kiwanis honors Ponchatoula police officers

Kiwanis honors Ponchatoula police officers -

PONCHATOULA---02/22/11---The Ponchatoula Kiwanis Club on Wednesday recognized five female police officers for their service to the Ponchatoula Police Department.

The Kiwanis Club presented Cpl. Carol Wilson, Officers Tracy Eady and LeCour Hall, and communications specialists Christina Sanders and Crystal Furca each with a certificate of commendation and a box of chocolates.

Ponchatoula Police Chief Bry Layrisson accompanied his officers and introduced them to the club during their luncheon Wednesday.

Layrisson said that while of his department's officers are key ingredients to keeping law and order in Ponchatoula, he especially appreciated the role these and five other lady officers serve in the organization.

"These ladies have a special knack in how they deal with people," Layrisson said, noting that so many times, the public encounters one of these officers first in their efforts to get help.

"In an emergency, the first 30 seconds are so very critical, and in many instances, these ladies are those first responders to a call or on the scene," Layrisson said.

Layrisson said the honorees were among a history-making class of female officers working within his administration. The group includes three POST-certified law enforcement professionals. In the past, there had only been one POST-certified female officer in the ranks.

A fourth in the group plans to attend the police academy this year to gain her POST certification.

The group also boasts the first female corporal in the Ponchatoula Police Department. Cpl. Carol Wilson recently earned the rank promotion after serving four years in the department, where she works as the city's school resource officer, handles domestic violence cases, and through her work with trained bloodhounds not only heads up the department's search team for missing kids but also uses the dogs to provide hands-on therapy with Autistic children.

Layrisson said the fifth member of the team is a longtime law enforcement official who even in retirement from State Police and Hammond PD gives back to the community by working with Ponchatoula Police.

"I am very proud of these officers. They are key members of our team, and we thank you for taking this opportunity to recognize them for their dedication to our community," Layrisson told the club.

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