Gonzales man accused of stealing a van with two kids inside surrenders Friday

An Ascension Parish man accused of stealing a van carrying two children Thursday in Baton Rouge and then trying to rob a man at gunpoint a day later in Donaldsonville surrendered to Gonzales police Friday morning.

John Wallace Aguillard Jr., who turned 21 Saturday, 1115 N. Anita Ave.,Gonzales, stole a van parked at an Exxon gas station near Blue Bayou Water Park early Thursday, Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies said.

A couple driving the van had gone into the station and left their two children inside the vehicle.

Aguillard realized after he drove away on La. 427, or Old Perkins Road, into Ascension that the children were in the van, said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, chief of criminal operations for the Ascension Sheriff’s Office.

Aguillard apparently dropped them off on the side of a road and Ascension deputies retrieved the children on Bluff Road and reunited them with their parents.

Then about 3 a.m. Friday, Aguillard unsuccessfully tried to rob a man on the side of Lessard Street in Donaldsonville.

The victim followed Aguillard in his car and provided a description of the van, which matched the one stolen the day before in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Aguillard arrived at Gonzales Police Department headquarters early Friday, accompanied by his mother, to surrender, police Detective Sgt. Steven Nethken said.

Aguillard was booked into Ascension Parish Prison near Donaldsonville on a Gonzales police warrant in an unrelated case for improper telephone communication, an Ascension Parish armed robbery count and for being a fugitive from East Baton Rouge Parish.

Aguillard also faces prosecution in Gonzales on counts of illegal possession of a weapon and a narcotics violation in a 2012 case.

East Baton Rouge Parish deputies plan to book Aguillard with two counts of simple kidnapping and one count of theft of a motor vehicle, sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.