Police and fire briefs for Sept. 8, 2013

Woman jogger beaten, robbed at LSU lakes

A woman jogging beside the LSU lakes on the afternoon of Aug. 28 was beaten and robbed of her cellphone in the 3100 block of East Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge police said.

Police on Friday arrested a 19-year-old woman accused of telling the jogger that she had a gun, and that she “better give up” her iPhone 5, which the jogger had used moments before to make a phone call for the accused robber, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Police booked Courtney Fruge, 2135 College Ave., Baker, into Parish Prison on counts of second-degree robbery, the affidavit says.

Around 3:40 p.m. Aug. 28, Fruge walked up to the jogger, along with a man, who asked if he could borrow the jogger’s cellphone, the affidavit says.

The jogger refused, and instead offered to dial a number and leave a message for the suspected robbers, the affidavit says.

Soon, though, Fruge’s suspected accomplice grabbed the jogger by the hair and threw her to the ground, the affidavit says, which led to a fight between the associate and the victim.

During the fight, the jogger “was punched and kicked numerous times” until Fruge allegedly told the victim she had a gun, the affidavit says.

Fearing for her life, the jogger quit fighting, and Fruge’s suspected accomplice took the phone, the affidavit says.

Fruge, along with the accomplice and at least two other men, then fled the scene in a gray Honda Accord.

The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are possible, said Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a police spokesman.

Deputies arrest man in $10,000 bank scam

East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies arrested a 21-year-old man accused of stealing at least $10,000 in a bank fraud scheme that involved collaboration with at least 17 other people.

Deputies booked Troy Arness Ellis Jr., 10732 South Mall Drive, Apt. 932, into Parish Prison on 17 counts of bank fraud, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Ellis is accused of providing participants with enough money to open a checking account, then depositing fraudulent checks into the account, withdrawing $600 from the newly opened account and splitting some of the money with the participants, the affidavit says.

Ellis told investigators that every person involved knowingly participated in the scam, the affidavit says.

Deputies uncovered at least eight additional cases in the scam, totaling more than $16,000 in stolen funds, the affidavit says.

Ellis told authorities that he learned how to operate the scam from another relative, identified in the affidavit as the person who committed at least some of the additional cases.

Car-jack handle used in armed robbery

Baton Rouge police arrested a 43-year-old man accused of robbing a man outside the victim’s pickup early Saturday while armed with a car-jack handle, then throwing the tool through the truck’s rear window as the victim drove away.

Police booked Deon Bland, 3891 Cannon St., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of armed robbery and aggravated criminal damage to property, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Shortly after midnight at Bland’s Cannon Street residence, Bland is accused of asking the victim for money, the affidavit says.

When the victim said he didn’t have any money, Bland allegedly armed himself with a car-jack handle, followed the victim outside and pushed the victim up against the truck, taking his wallet in the process, the affidavit says.

Bland is accused of then raising the tool and telling the victim to “get out of here,” the affidavit says.

At that time, a friend of the victim asked for a ride and entered the truck, the affidavit says.

As the victim drove away, Bland is accused of throwing the jack handle through the truck’s rear window.

Bland later told investigators that he did not take the man’s wallet, but that he did throw the jack handle through the truck’s window because he said the victim had tried to run him over when leaving, the affidavit says.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.