Assumption deputies arrest Belle Rose man in gun theft

Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies say they have made another arrest in a case involving a stolen handgun that later became the center of a two-vehicle chase in which shots were fired on a rural highway.

Quention Steward, 26, 135 Grisaffe Lane, Belle Rose, told deputies he stole the .40-caliber pistol and several other items during the burglary of a Belle Rose home May 12, deputies said in a news release Wednesday.

Public Information Officer Robert Martin, sheriff’s spokesman, said investigators have not released information on how the stolen weapon ended up in the hands of four Morgan City men who tried to sell it Friday.

But three men from the New Orleans area drove to Bayou L’Ourse on Friday to buy the pistol from Joshua Bougere, 20, 250 Murial St., Morgan City, and three others. Fearing an ambush was imminent during the sale, the New Orleans-area men drove off with the stolen gun without paying, deputies said.

Bougere and others got in their sport utility vehicle to give chase. Deputies said one of the New Orleans-area men, James Cole, 19, 35 Judith St., Waggaman, fired two shots from the stolen gun to get Bougere and the others to back off.

The SUV Bougere and the others were riding in ended up running off La. 663 and knocking down mailboxes in Bayou L’Ourse while the New Orleans-area men were stopped by a state trooper on U.S. 90.

Cole, Bougere and four others involved in the attempted sale and chase were arrested on firearms counts Friday, deputies said.

Steward, the accused burglar, was booked in the Assumption Parish Detention Center on Monday with a count of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, Martin said. Steward, whose bail has been set at $30,000, remained in jail mid-Wednesday morning, Martin said.