New Orleans area police briefs for Jan. 11, 2013

Child rape suspect captured, booked

A man accused of raping a young girl earlier this month was captured by New Orleans police Wednesday night.

Willie “Mississippi” Jackson, 57, was booked with aggravated rape and remains in custody.

Police announced they were searching for Jackson Wednesday in connection with a rape on Sunday, and he was arrested a few hours later.

According to court records, Jackson forced a 9-year-old girl to perform sex acts and then threatened to kill the child and her father if she told anyone.

However, a witness saw what happened and was able to alert police immediately, the records said. Jackson is believed to be homeless.

Shooting suspect sought by police

Police have identified a suspect in a double shooting in Algiers last month.

Officers are searching for Darius Byrd, 19, who is wanted on two counts of aggravated battery.

Police said Byrd shot two men Dec. 22 after an argument in the 2900 block of Lawrence Street.

Police have already arrested Jasmine Reaux, 19, and booked her with principal to aggravated battery in connection with the incident.

Suspects face more robbery charges

Two men already accused of robbing a Kenner convenience store Sunday are now facing similar accusations from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for a crime the day before.

Roderic Lathers, 19, and Jonathan Butler, 23, are accused of robbing the Las Villas Grocery on Division Street Saturday, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

The duo was already in custody in connection with the armed robbery of a business on Williams Boulevard in Kenner on Sunday.

Fortunato said that Lathers confessed to both crimes and pointed to Butler as the getaway driver in each incident.

2 robberies reported on same street

Police are searching for two suspects in armed robberies on Downman Road in eastern New Orleans.

The incidents happened several hours and blocks apart Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, according to police.

The first robbery was reported near Downman Road and Haynes Boulevard around 8:07 p.m. A woman told officers that a man forced her from her vehicle at gunpoint and then stole the car and her purse.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m., a cashier at gas station near Dwyer Road and Downman Road reported that an armed man entered the business and demanded money and cigarettes before fleeing on foot.

Police: Tipster thwarted robbery

A tip from an alert store clerk led to the arrest of a man and woman who Gretna Police say were planning an armed robbery.

Police arrested Jessie Murdock, 20, and Bryshawn Holley, 21 on Thursday and booked them with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to a news release. Police believe the duo were planning to rob a convenience store on Lafayette Street in the early morning hours but were thwarted when a clerk called police after spotting Murdock hiding behind a dumpster.

When officers arrived, they actually saw Murdock headed into the store with a mask on his face.

When they searched a car where he and Holley were sitting, they discovered a weapon.

Kenner Police to graduate 9 officers

Kenner police announced that nine new officers will join the police force after completing the city’s police academy.

Randy Belanger, Joshua Davis, Louis Duvic, Kathleen Fronczak, Jan-Michael Gregory, Katie Higgins, Chad Hoffmann, Britini Scott and Casey Smith all completed the department’s 600-hour course.

They will now complete a 16-week training course. Graduation is set for Jan. 18, and the group is the city’s ninth graduating class.

Alleged burglar trapped inside car

A teenage car theft suspect was trapped inside a vehicle by an alert homeowner after being unable to open a security gate, Gretna police say.

Police report that the 14-year-old suspect was booked with three counts of vehicle burglary and one count of attempted vehicle theft after the incident in the 1100 block of Jefferson Street. The homeowner told police he caught the young man trying to steal his truck, but the theft failed because the boy couldn’t negotiate a security gate.

When police searched the boy, they found items from several other vehicles in the neighborhood.

Woman arrested
in son’s beating

A family prank that went awry landed a Harvey mother in jail on Tuesday night.

Lanesha Brown, 28, was booked with cruelty to a juvenile after she whipped her son with an audio-video cord and left bruises, according to an arrest report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Brown told police that she and her son’s father were joking with the boy about adding another child to the family, and the boy threatened to run away.

The boy’s father opened the door and jokingly told the boy that he could leave, according to the report.

When the child stepped outside, his parents closed the door and left him outside for three minutes. However, when they opened the door again, the boy had wandered away.

Brown called police to report the boy missing, but later found him and whipped him, police say. When a deputy arrived, he noticed the boy holding his back and arrested Brown.

Dwelling collapses, traps workers

Firefighters responding to a medical call and a call of persons trapped in the 700 block of Gen. Pershing Street on Thursday found workers trapped by the collapse of the home’s right side, the New Orleans Fire Department reported.

Firefighters found what appeared to be a one-story double being converted into a single-family dwelling at 729 Gen. Pershing St. The home’s right side was under renovation.

The workers had bruises and puncture wounds and were taken to an area hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Police briefs compiled by Allen Powell II. He can be reached at apowell@theadvocate.com.