Gonzales man jailed on robbery count
GONZALES — Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Gonzales man Friday on one count each of simple robbery and impersonating a police officer.
Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Bobby Webre said Wayne A. Melancon Jr., 53, was being held at the Ascension Parish Jail on Friday evening awaiting bond to be set.
Melancon is accused of using a flashing white light on his van and a shirt with a badge-like emblem to pull over a Geismar woman driving her vehicle near her home, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.
Melancon allegedly told the victim he was investigating drug activity in the area and ordered her to place her purse on the hood of the car. When she did, he took the purse and fled, Webre said.
Sheriff’s detectives said they were able to identify the van, which led to Melancon’s arrest.
No address was available for Melancon as of Friday evening.
Police seek pair in Natalbany shooting
NATALBANY — The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated a shooting early Friday that left a Mississippi resident in critical condition.
The shooting occurred around 3:15 a.m. at Roy’s Lounge in Natalbany, Sheriff Daniel Edwards said. The 46-year-old victim was shot while reportedly leaving the bar and admitted to a hospital in critical condition, Edwards said.
Investigators with the sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit were working to identify the pair suspected of shooting the victim, Edwards said.
Anyone having information regarding their identity is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 554-5245. All tips remain anonymous.
The lead investigator on the case is Detective Stephen Jenkins, the sheriff said.
Man, woman shot
in Vacherie; man dies
VACHERIE — A man was killed and a woman wounded in a shooting early Friday at a housing complex in Vacherie, St. James Parish Sheriff Willie Martin Jr. said.
Deputies called to the scene at 2:45 a.m. found Aaron Jones, 39, of Vacherie, fatally wounded, Martin said.
Jones and Christina Gale, 34, apparently were shot while they were on the front porch of Gale’s residence inside Magnolia Housing Complex, Martin said.
Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, and Gale was admitted to a hospital for treatment, where she remained Friday evening, the sheriff said.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 562-2200, or call Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1 (877) 903-STOP.
Crime Stoppers posted a reward of up to $2,500 for information on the shootings and advised that callers do not have to give their name or testify to receive the cash reward.
Independence man indicted in slaying
AMITE — A Tangipahoa Parish grand jury on Friday indicted Giles McGhee, 51, of Independence, on two counts of first-degree murder.
Hammond police arrested McGhee following the shooting death of his former girlfriend, Tamica Muse, and Karum Smith on April 5, 21st District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said.
The incident occurred inside Muse’s Hammond home, Perrilloux said.
McGhee was later apprehended in Baton Rouge, driving a vehicle that had belonged to Muse, the district attorney said.
Arraignment is scheduled for May 17, Perrilloux said.
‘Click It or Ticket’ safety campaign set
More than 120 law enforcement agencies across the state will participate in this year’s Click It or Ticket seat belt safety awareness campaign, according to a Louisiana Highway Safety Commission news release.
The safety effort, which will last from May 21 to June 3, will be the largest of its kind ever in Louisiana, the release says.
Participating agencies received grants from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission to conduct extra patrols for seat belt violations during the operation, the release says.
The effort coincides with Memorial Day weekend, generally one of the deadliest on the road each year, the release says.
“One of the saddest duties performed by troopers is having to notify parents, spouses and other relatives that their loved one was killed in a crash,” State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said in the release. “That sadness is compounded when the trooper is aware that the victim might have been saved if he or she had been buckled up.”
Sand, bags available in Ascension Parish
Sand and bags are available for Ascension Parish residents at five parish fire stations, officials announced.
Parish officials said they were making the sand and bags available because the National Weather Service forecast possible heavy rains could pass through the area starting Friday morning.
Department of Public Works Director Ronnie Fairchild said sand and bags would be available at:
- The 7th District Fire Station, 13398 Roddy Road, Gonzales.
- The 7th District Fire Station,13337 N. La. 44, Gonzales.
- Prairieville Fire Station, 37237 Goodwood St. Prairieville.
- Galvez-Lake Fire Station, 16288 Joe Sevario Road, Prairieville.
- St. Amant Volunteer Fire Department Station, 44465 Stringer Bridge Road, St. Amant.
Public Works officials advised residents to bring their own shovels to fill the bags.
Compiled from staff reports