Police and fire briefs for Dec. 11, 2013

Suspected restaurant robber identified

Baton Rouge police identified Tuesday the man they suspect robbed a Jack in the Box restaurant Monday and fired a shot at police officers during a short chase.

Willie Bernard Vinning, 28, 2330 Jefferson Ave., Baton Rouge, is wanted by police for counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer and armed robbery, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.

Vinning allegedly pulled into the drive-thru lane of the restaurant at 2805 Scenic Highway at 3:05 a.m. in a gold Chevrolet Cavalier and climbed into the building through the drive-through window.

He is accused of demanding money from two employees and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the store. While driving away, police spotted his car and tried to pull him over. He drove about two miles with police in pursuit before crashing his car into a fence, police claim.

He jumped out of the car, and while running from police, fired a single shot at the officers, police said. No one was injured.

Vinning is considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Violent Crime Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Teen booked in violent crimes with gun

Baton Rouge police arrested a 17-year-old boy Monday accused of two gun-related violent crimes in a six-week span.

Leonard Jarvis Robertson, 3032 Sycamore St., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and illegal use of a dangerous weapon, prison records show.

On Oct. 2, three people were riding in a vehicle on Oak Villa Drive when a dark-colored vehicle pulled up next to them and the front seat passenger opened fire, according to an affidavit warrant.

Two days after the shooting, one victim told police that she was sure Robertson was the shooter and another victim who received minor injuries in the shooting, identified him as the shooter, the warrant says.

The third victim said he and Robertson fought the day before the shooting and Robertson previously fired a gun at him a few months earlier, the warrant says.

On Nov. 15, Robertson and an accomplice armed with handguns robbed a man in the 10000 block of Florida Boulevard, stealing a cellphone, keys, cash and a debit card, an affidavit warrant for the robbery says.

The victim told police he heard someone named Leonard bragging about the robbery and identified Robertson as one of the people who robbed him, the warrant says.

Electrical problem causes house fire

The Baton Rouge Fire Department extinguished a house fire Tuesday that was caused by an electrical malfunction near the television in the living room.

Firefighters arrived at the home at 5633 Linden St. at 3:32 p.m. and had the fire extinguished eight minutes later, department spokesman Curt Monte said.

Firefighters contained the fire to the living room, but the rest of the home received smoke damage, Monte said.

The home’s residents were not around when the fire erupted, but arrived shortly before firefighters left, Monte said.

The Red Cross was called to assist the residents.

Two accused of driving while intoxicated

Authorities arrested at least two people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Monday and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Tyler Guelfo, 20, 8003 President Drive, Baton Rouge, second-offense DWI, failure to maintain control, reckless operation, driver’s license required/expired and hit-and-run.
  • Dustin Root, 21, 3401 Main St., LaPlace, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and disobeying a red light.

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