New Orleans Police and Fire Briefs for Feb. 5, 2013

Bonne Carré crash, fire kills two in car

State Police reported a fiery crash that killed two people Monday morning and caused gridlock for miles was the result of a woman speeding on the shoulder of the Bonne Carré Spillway.

Nechole Thomas, 26, was booked with two counts of vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated and reckless operation of a motor vehicle after State Police said she struck a car stopped on the side of the road and killed its two occupants.

Thomas only received minor injuries in the crash, said Trooper Melissa Matey, a public information officer.

The incident was reported shortly after 5:30 a.m. near mile marker 214.6, Matey said. Thomas was apparently speeding and drove onto the shoulder without seeing the other stopped vehicle, she said. The crash set both vehicles on fire, and the two occupants of the other vehicle were trapped inside of their car, Matey said.

Investigators believe Thomas was impaired at the time of the crash. Police have not determined the identities of the two victims because of the condition of their bodies, Matey said.

Police seek motive in Monday shooting

Police are searching for the gunman in a shooting that left an unidentified man in critical condition in Central City on Monday afternoon.

Police said the victim was found shot multiple times about 12:15 p.m. near Thalia Street and South Saratoga Street. The man was taken to a local hospital. No motive or suspects were released.

Burglary suspects’ identities released

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office released the identities of three suspects arrested in connection with an aggravated burglary and shooting Friday.

Jasmin Reyes, 32, of Kenner; Danell James, 27, New Orleans; and James Davis, 26, New Orleans, are accused of participating in a burglary in the 6000 block of Rickey Street in Metairie that left a 27-year-old man wounded, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

The incident, which involved suspects luring the victim back to his home in an effort to steal drugs, sparked a large manhunt in Metairie.

Investigators are still searching for Jonathan Lopez, 26, of Kenner, and Carnell Robinson, 25, of New Orleans, in connection with the incident.

Police arrest man in pistol-whipping

A local man was beaten and threatened with a gun after he argued with a Metairie man on Sunday, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The incident was reported in the 100 block of Elm Street.

According to an arrest report, William Chapman, 60, argued and fought with the victim. Then, after he saw the victim talking to Chapman’s girlfriend, he pistol-whipped him and fired a shot into the ground, according to an arrest report. Chapman was booked with aggravated battery and illegal use of a weapon.

Motorist hits cars, house, police say

A Marrero man was arrested Friday after the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said he struck several cars and a home while driving intoxicated.

Edward Lafrance, 51, was booked with five counts of hit-and-run driving, driving while intoxicated, resisting a police officer and battery of a police officer.

A witness said Lafrance was seen striking the vehicle and stopping in the front yard of a home on Annette Drive. When a deputy approached him, he tried to flee. then fought with the deputy, according to an arrest report.

Pa. men accused
of damaging hotel

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested three Philadelphia tourists Friday after authorities said they trashed a hotel on the West Bank Expressway.

Deputies were called out to the hotel in unincorporated Gretna after receiving reports of a disturbance on the 14th floor, according to an arrest report.

A deputy said he found white foam from a fire extinguisher all over the hallway and saw broken furniture. The deputy arrested Joseph Baldino, 28; Vincent Leuzzi, 32; and Todd Deluca, 33, and booked them with criminal mischief and simple criminal damage to property.

The property manager estimated they caused $1,100 in damage.

Woman hit husband with car, police say

An argument between a Gretna woman and her husband Saturday ended with her striking the man with a car, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Anna Edwards, 46, was booked with aggravated battery after deputies said she dragged her husband alongside the vehicle, then struck him. Edwards and her husband were arguing for an unknown reason, when she told police her husband hit her with his cane. She tried to leave in her car, and he hit her with the cane again. She then drove off dragging him before striking him with the vehicle, according to an arrest report.

N.Y. women caught with phony cards

Two New York women accused of attempting to use phony credit cards to steal from a local casino were arrested Friday.

Tania Martinez, 19, and Carla Castellon Penaranda, 23, were caught trying to steal thousands from cash machines at the downtown casino using the fake credit cards.

When they were arrested, authorities found multiple cards in their purses, according to court records.

The women told authorities they had been told to use the cards as to withdraw as much cash as possible and they would get a percentage of the money they stole.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau