N.O. man allegedly scammed judge candidate, and other New Orleans-area police news

Man scammed judicial candidate, police say

A New Orleans man allegedly stole almost $6,000 from a Jefferson Parish judicial candidate by posing as a political consultant but never ordering campaign materials he promised, Kenner police said.

Joseph West, 53, was booked Friday on a theft charge. Kenner police said he scammed Connie Montgomery, who was running for Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court judge, out of $5,653.

Police had issued a warrant for the arrest of West, who also goes by the name Joseph Berry, on Oct. 17.

West contacted Montgomery after she announced her candidacy for judge and said he was a political consultant who could get her signs, pamphlets and cards to publicize her campaign, said Sgt. Brian McGregor, a Kenner Police Department spokesman.

Montgomery gave West $6,000 for the materials. She became suspicious after West claimed to have spent $9,000 on the campaign but could not provide her with any receipts, McGregor said. Receipts that West did provide manipulated company names in an effort to stop Montgomery from contacting the companies, he said.

Montgomery filed a report with Kenner police on Oct. 6.

West was released from custody Monday on a $7,500 bond.

Police beginning search for N.O. East kidnapper

New Orleans police are searching for a man who kidnapped a girl from a bus stop in New Orleans East early Monday morning.

The victim was waiting for a school bus in the 7000 block of Bullard Avenue about 7 a.m. when a car pulled up and the man inside asked if she needed a ride.

She said she did not, and the man drove away, but he then made a U-turn and again pulled up to the victim. The man pointed a gun at her and demanded that she get in his car, police said. As he drove away, he removed his genitals from his pants and made sexual statements, police said.

While the man was driving on the Interstate 10 Service Road, the victim jumped out of the moving car and ran away. The man kept driving, police said.

The car is described as a sedan with dark tinted windows, possibly a Lexus SE300. The man is described as a black male, about 40 years old with a disfigured right hand. Police said he wore black pants and a black sweater.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the NOPD at (504) 658-6070 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Maurepas man booked, wanted in vehicle thefts

St. Tammany Parish deputies on Monday arrested a Maurepas man wanted in two states for car theft, according to a news release.

Shane Richey, 42, crashed the stolen car he was driving into the trees alongside eastbound Interstate 12 during a chase, the release said. The pursuit started when Richey’s car was spotted heading north on La. 59 and deputies put a spike strip in the road just south of the interstate. After driving over the spikes, Richey merged onto I-12 and sped past other cars on the shoulder before losing a tire and careening off the road just west of the Lacombe exit.

Deputies then were able to take him into custody.

The search for Richey began earlier in the day when bank employees in Covington alerted authorities after he tried to cash a stolen check.

Richey was booked on two counts of possession of stolen property, one count of forgery and one of aggravated flight. He also is wanted on warrants for stolen cars in Ascension Parish and Harrison County, Miss.

Man killed, woman hurt in crash on I-10 ramp

A man was killed and a 47-year-old woman was in critical condition after the car in which they were riding hit a metal pole and the side of the Interstate 10 high-rise bridge, New Orleans police said.

The accident happened about 10:15 a.m. on the eastbound I-10 Louisa Street-Almonaster Boulevard exit ramp, police said.

The woman, who was driving a gray four-door Lexus, lost control of the car and hit a metal pole and a concrete barrier on the bridge.

The driver was listed in critical condition, and the passenger died at the hospital. Authorities did not immediately release his name.

Blood and alcohol tests are pending. The Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Fatality investigator Anthony Pontiff is in charge of the investigation.