GONZALES — A Gonzales police officer was disciplined for violating Police Department regulations after he accidentally discharged his firearm while off duty at a strip club outside Gonzales’ city limits.
Officer Chase Delatte was suspended from duty for three days after the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office cited him for illegal use of a weapon.
The Sheriff’s Office investigated an incident in which Delatte accidentally fired his weapon in a restroom at the Crazy Horse Cabaret on La. 30.
According to witnesses, Delatte entered the restroom at the strip club around 1:30 a.m. on March 13, discharged his weapon into the door of a stall and then closed out his bar tab before leaving without notifying anyone of what happened.
“Witnesses observed Chase get up from the table and walk to the bathroom and they herd (sic) a loud bang shortly after he entered,” Sheriff’s Sgt. John Griffin wrote in his case report. “Chase then exited the restroom and went to the bar to close out his tab. Management later discovered a gunshot hole in the door of the men’s restroom.”
Delatte told Griffin that when he checked his backup weapon in the restroom to make sure it was loaded, he accidentally discharged the firearm, according to Griffin’s report. He then left the establishment and returned home, the report says. Griffin noted “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from Delatte.
Delatte’s suspension goes into effect on Friday, according to a letter written to Delatte by Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson.
Delatte’s carrying of the weapon into the strip club violated two portions of the Gonzales Police Department’s firearms policy. The policy states officers are not allowed to carry firearms into a bar while off duty and may carry a gun into an establishment serving liquor only “when responding to a call, during lunch or coffee breaks, or while on official assignment.”
Jackson further advised Delatte that his actions reflected poorly on the department.
After being notified of an internal investigation following the incident, Jackson wrote, Delatte accepted responsibility for his actions and waived his right to an attorney.
“You stated you were wrong and wished to receive punishment for your actions,” Jackson wrote.