Police and fire briefs for July 18, 2014

Police: Man pushed vehicle into traffic

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Baton Rouge man who they say punched his wife while she sat in a car with another man, and when the two drove away, followed and rammed them repeatedly, including into oncoming traffic.

On the night of July 5, Elisah Jamar Norman, 26, walked over to his wife while she sat with a 21-year-old man in an SUV with the window rolled down near 1000 Central Road, according to the arrest warrant. Norman allegedly hit his wife in the face multiple times and said he would kill her and the car’s driver. When the driver pulled away, Norman reportedly jumped in his own SUV and began ramming the other vehicle.

The chase continued onto Interstate 110 and over the freeway’s median before police say Norman slammed their vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic near Scenic Highway.

Eventually both vehicles veered into a ditch near Thomas Road, colliding with two separate telephone poles.

The wife and the SUV’s driver then hid in the bushes while Norman stalked the scene and shouted that he would kill them, the warrant says.

He left as passers-by stopped to help the victims. No one was badly injured, though the cars sustained serious damage.

Norman, 3823 N. 38th Street, Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on Thursday on counts of attempted second-degree murder, domestic abuse battery, aggravated criminal damage to property, reckless operation of a vehicle and hit and run.

Denham Springs man booked in beating

Police arrested a man they say sprayed a 73-year-old with clear liquid and then beat him until he lost consciousness just inside the entrance to a Baton Rouge Mini Storage on July 1.

Christian Gill, 51, started shouting and cursing at the man as he approached the Mini Storage on 7649 Airline Highway to pay a monthly rental fee, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Police say Gill then briefly blinded him by spraying “a clear liquid” in his eyes, and then he punched him until he passed out. When he came to, Gill was still beating him, according to the affidavit.

The victim suffered cuts across his arms and a large bruise to his forehead, but refused to be taken to the hospital.

Gill, 32773 Perkins Road, Denham Springs, was booked into Parish Prison on Wednesday for crimes against the elderly and second-degree battery, booking records show.

Woman jumps 25 feet off balcony to safety

A Baton Rouge woman whose boyfriend choked her then pointed a gun in his own mouth, threatening to kill both of them, was able to escape Wednesday by jumping from a 25-foot apartment balcony.

The two had been arguing in an apartment at 1826 S. Brightside View Drive when Austin Chapman, 26, shoved his girlfriend away from the door over and over as she tried to leave, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Chapman then forced her to the floor, covered her mouth and choked her before she was able to get up again, police said.

Chapman then grabbed his gun and pointed it into his mouth and said he would kill her and then himself, the affidavit says. Moments later, she managed to make the 25-foot leap from the apartment’s second-floor balcony and run to safety.

When Baton Rouge Police arrived, Chapman at first refused to open the door, but he finally yielded and inside the officers found a small bag of marijuana, a glass pipe, a bong and the firearm in Chapman’s room, the affidavit says.

Chapman, 1826 S. Brightside View Drive, was booked into Parish Prison early Thursday on counts of second-degree battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm with a controlled and dangerous substance, booking records show.

Mexican man sentenced on gun count Thursday

A 30-year-old Mexican man was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Baton Rouge to nearly three years in prison on a charge of being an illegal alien in possession of an assault-style shotgun, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office said.

Juan Flores-Flores had already been deported at least three times when Baton Rouge police searched his vehicle in January because it matched a car seen during two burglaries, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

While searching the vehicle, officers noticed the shotgun lying in plain view, the release states. The shotgun was reportedly stolen from a pawn shop.

The sentence was imposed by Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson.

BR man surrenders in fatal Wenonah shooting

Tajh Harris, the 21-year-old identified as a suspect in a fatal shooting Saturday on Wenonah Street, has been arrested.

Harris, 3434 Jackson Ave., surrendered about 5 a.m. Thursday after a tip from Crime Stoppers and was booked into Parish Prison on counts of second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, said Cpl. Don Coppola, a police spokesman.

The arrest stems from the fatal shooting of Javontia Davis, 24, who was found shot in the road before 2 a.m. Saturday outside his home at 2663 Wenonah Street. Davis, Harris and several others had gotten into an argument, police believe.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

BBB warns of IRS scam in Baton Rouge

Though tax season is over, dozens of scam callers claiming to be with the IRS have called up Baton Rouge residents to demand money or vital information, the Better Business Bureau warned Thursday.

The bureau said it has received more than 30 complaints of callers since Monday. Callers sometimes can read back the address or the last four digits of a person’s Social Security number, and can become hostile while claiming that they owe the government money and must pay up immediately.

To guard against scam artists, residents should know that the IRS always starts a warning process with a letter through the postal service rather than a phone call, the bureau said.

The IRS also never asks for a PIN number or even prepaid card information over the phone. Hostile threats, appeals to fear and masking a caller ID number are also classic signs of a scam artist at work, the bureau said.

Authorities book 5 on suspicion of DWI

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Michael Causey, 46, 311 Janis St., New Roads, first-offense DWI, improper lane use, reckless operation of vehicle and speeding.
  • Jason Fajardo, 22, 2124 Lee Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, driver’s license required or expired, reckless operation of a vehicle and speeding.
  • Donald Gremillion, 60, 3345 Haley Drive, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and hit and run.
  • Garrett Morgan, 30, 6246 Government St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and disobeying a stop or yield sign.
  • Ryan Stewart, 30, 727 Acadia St., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI, failure to change driver’s license address, license plate required and motor vehicle insurance required.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.