St. John books councilman, says he shot up son’s truck

Longtime St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman and car enthusiast Ranney Wilson was arrested Saturday on assault and firearms charges after he shot up his son’s pickup following an argument, the Sheriff’s Office said.

St. John sheriff’s deputies were dispatched Saturday afternoon to Wilson’s home in the 800 block of Garyville Northern Street, responding to a report of a family disturbance involving a gun, Sheriff Mike Tregre said in a statement Monday.

Wilson, 61, who is a former St. John deputy himself, told the responding deputies that he and his 26-year-old son had gotten into an argument inside the house. When his son walked out, Wilson retrieved a handgun from inside the house and fired several shots into his son’s pickup, which was parked and unoccupied.

No one was injured, though the truck was disabled, deputies said.

Wilson was arrested and charged with illegal use of a firearm and aggravated criminal damage to property. He was released on a $22,500 bond.

Wilson wouldn’t elaborate on what happened.

“People don’t know the whole story about it, and I’m not going to discuss it any more,” he said Monday.

The gregarious, heavyset councilman has been a fixture on the St. John Parish Council for the better part of the past three decades. He was the 4th District representative for 16 years, from 1984 to 1992 and from 1996 to 2004. He returned to the council in 2012, defeating incumbent Danny Millet in the 2nd District race.

He also is a car-racing aficionado who in the past has advocated for building a drag-racing track in Reserve near the parish airport and who served on the pit crew of a friend’s hot-rod racing team.

Wilson’s temper has gotten the better of him before.

In 2003, Wilson was issued a court summons on a charge of simple battery on Norman Volion, a Garyville man who often played the role of gadfly at Parish Council meetings, needling Wilson and his allies.

The two men fought after Volion showed up at Wilson’s Garyville property and began asking questions. According to a story in The Times-Picayune, Volion tossed a can of beer at Wilson after Wilson told him to leave, and then the two began wrestling. Wilson later said: “I asked him to leave and he wouldn’t. … I kicked his butt.”

In 1990, reported Monday, Wilson was booked on assault and battery charges after he got in a fight with his cousin.