24-year-old man accused of having sex with 15-year-old girl

Jerry Dwight Wright

By EverythingCenla staff

Jerry Dwight Wright, 24, 2810 Monroe St. Apt. B, Alexandria, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a warrant that charged him with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and molestation of a juvenile, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

Wright is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl who lives across the street from him, the police report shows.

The police report indicates the girl’s mother notified police after learning from her cousin’s daughter that Wright allegedly had sex with her daughter at his house. When police confronted Wright, he began “crying and yelling uncontrollably and had to be told to calm down several times.”

Wright told police he and the girl never had sexual intercourse. However, he allegedly admitted to kissing and touching the teen and also exchanging text messages that contained explicit language. The girl allegedly told officers the sex was consensual.

Wright was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail.

APD busy in 2009 with 48,000 dispatched calls

By Bill Sumrall
The Light

In presenting the 2009 crime status to the Alexandria City Council, T.W. Thompson, public safety commissioner and interim chief of police wanted the Council to know that the Alexandria Police Department and its officers work hard every day.

“Last year, we handled over 48,000 dispatched calls,” Thompson said, which breaks down to 573 calls per officer in the uniformed division of the police department.

“It costs a lot of money combating crime,” Thompson added, citing last week’s capture of two suspects arrested and charged with armed robberies on Masonic and Jackson Street Extension areas, which he said cost $19,000 in overtime.

“You all need to be aware (of that)  too because we have to fund APD properly,” Thompson said.

Thompson told the Council that the community policing section of the Alexandria Police Department has 12 officers, which includes a commander, and has a combined 131 years of experience.

“The Alexandria Police Department is one of the finest police departments in this state,” Thompson said.

“The officers, the men and women, of that department work very diligently to fight crime here in the city,” Thompson said.

Thompson noted that the International Association of Chiefs of Police report says that the community police officers need “to broaden their views, broaden their horizons.”

The police will partner with Lisa Harris, director of community services, in spreading Kids Night Out, established by former Police Chief Daren Coutee, into several neighborhood sites, Thompson said.

“We’re out and about — the criminals that reside in the city of Alexandria should beware, they should take their business somewhere else because we’re going to be out there getting them, I can tell you that,” Thompson said.

Other statistics in the report presented to the Council cited 12,159 traffic stops last year, 4,934 field interviews and 6,784 citizen contacts, with 2,771 misdemeanor arrests and 961 felony arrests.

The 2009 report cited 618 vehicle burglaries, 738 residential burglaries and 285 commercial burglaries; six homicides; 17 rapes; 2,677 assaults (which includes all assaults, of which 2,290 of that total were simple assaults); 176 robberies; and 122 auto thefts. To date, only one homicide has been reported for 2010.

“APD’s out there, and we hope that the criminals understand that and either stop committing the crime or go somewhere else,” Thompson said.

Both Goins and District 1 Councilman Ed Larvadain III commended Thompson and the community policing commander, Lt. Greg Powell.

“We have to keep our streets safe. If we’re going to attract business and make things happen, we have to keep our citizens safe,” Larvadain said.
Council President Roosevelt Johnson added that one of the things people appreciate is the citizens’ contact, where officers give information and provide resources of the police department to work hand-in-hand to make the difference.

In a separate report, Joe Page, deputy chief of policy and planning and chief diversity officer, gave an update report to the Council about the city’s Diversity in Action initiative.

Page reported that last year the city achieved its goal of 15 percent minority-owned businesses but only achieved 3.2 percent of its 7 percent goal of women owned businesses.

“We need to continue our efforts with outreach to identify additional women owned-businesses that can do business with the city,” the report states.

“The Small Emerging Business Development program granted a total of $45,000 to the City of Alexandria this funding cycle to help small businesses with technical assistance. We have eight clients in the system now and we anticipate that we will provide help for seven additional clients,” the report states.

Page also demonstrated the new Diversity in Action button on the City of Alexandria’s Web site which leads to more information about the initiative.

Larvadain requested a list naming the 15 percent minority-owned businesses and dollar amounts they received, which Page said he thought had already been provided but would double-check to ensure Larvadain received a copy.

In other business, Larvadain said he realizes money is tight but requested the administration look at adding a youth jobs summer program as part of the summer programs at all community centers.

The Council heard a report from John Marzullo discussing the rail system at the Alexandria Port, which is expected to receive $500,000 in federal funding to improve rail spur access.

Marzullo reported that in the last five years, 42 percent of traffic on the Red River was done through the Port of Alexandria.

Finance Director David Crutchfield reported that the shortage of three meter readers and difficult weather conditions resulted in meters not read in a timely manner recently. “We did get behind,” Crutchfield said, but are caught up now.

Customers can arrange additional time to pay higher bills through the utility customer service department, Crutchfield said.

Larvadain said he’s received many complaints from his constituents about late fees when they told him their bills had been paid on time and asked about bringing the utility billing back in-house.

However, Crutchfield said billing service was outsourced to New Orleans because of the $200,000 expense to replace an in-house utility bill mail-processing machine and an employee to run it.

District 5 Councilman Chuck Fowler recalled that “it was a nightmare” when the in-house machine broke down and the city couldn’t get the utility bills out on time.

In another matter, Alexandria’s City Council approved park improvements and heard reports on community policing and a Diversity in Action initiative.

The city also joined a state grant agreement with the Central Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross, Family Counseling and The Shepherd Center of Central Louisiana for homeless prevention programs and supportive services.

Lisa Harris, chief of policy and planning and director of community services, outlined the park improvements in the proposed professional services agreement with Lose & Associates during the community development committee meeting.

This was for the design and administration of Phase I park improvements, which was approved in committee prior to its final adoption in the 5 p.m. regular Council session Feb. 9.

Two new parks are the Sandy Bayou Park in District 3, which is in Councilman Jonathan Goins’ district, and Martin Park, which is near the 911 Center, Harris said.

Both include walking trails, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic facilities, landscaping and general park site features such as benches, trash receptacles and other site furnishings, according to a park improvements project approach cited by Harris.

Also, Frank O. Hunter Park’s redevelopment includes a youth football complex with a game field and two practice fields, a new parking lot, a football press box with concessions and restrooms, picnic facilities, landscaping and general park site features such as benches, trash receptacles and other site furnishings.

Renita James accused of fraudently stealing money from Lake Charles woman bank account

By EverythingCenla staff

Renita James, 33, 1021 Packard Drive B, Alexandria, was arrested on a warrant that accuses her of taking $2,500 from a Lake Charles’ woman bank account by putting fraudulent information on the bank withdrawal slip, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

James allegedly withdrew the money from Chase bank Memorial Drive branch in Alexandria. Police are looking for a second suspect, who allegedly took $5,000 from a branch in Ball using the same method, the police report shows.

In total, the victim had about $40,000 stolen from her.

James was booked on a charge of theft of  $500 and up.

APD arrests six on drug charges

According to Newman Bobb, Alexandria Police Department’s narcotics supervisor, reported the following:

Narcotics received complaints of drug activity coming from 1709 Polk St. Agent were able to obtain enough information to conduct a search of the residence. Agents allegedly found prescription pills, marijuana  and items used to package marijuana for street sales.  The following were arrested

Suspect: Jeanette Payne, 48, 1709 Polk St., Alexandria
Charges:    Poss CDS I Marijuana with intent
Poss CDS III  Hydrocodone With IntentPoss CDS 11  “Demerol”
Poss of Drug Paraphernalia

Suspect: Jonathan Smith,  1709 Polk St. Alexandria, LaCharges:   Poss of CDS I Marijuana
Poss of Drug Paraphernalia

Suspect: Valencia Payne, 22, 1709 Polk St., Alexandria
Charge:   Probation Violation

Agents received several complaints of drug activity and discharging of firearms
Several callers complained of drug dealing and persons shooting weapons in the Harris Street area.  A Zero Tolerance operation was conducted. Agents observed what appeared to be a possible drug transaction taking place in the 2800 Block of Harris Street. Agents spotted a vehicle occupied by Gregory Culbert, 22, of 2424 Wise St. After a search of Culbert’s vehicle, agents allegedly found Hydrocodone pills and a loaded handgun. Culbert was charged with illegal carrying of a aeapon with CDS III and illegal possession of a weapon by convicted felon

APD Tipline leads to drug arrest
Narcotics detectives received information of possible heavy narcotics activity at 2434  Midway St. After several hours of surveillance, agents obtain permission to search the residence and allegedly found 33 individual small plastic bags containing cocaine packaged for sale. Arrested was:

Otha Tatum, 26, 2829 Monroe St. He was charged with possession of CDS II cocaine with intent.

Suspected major prescription pill distributor arrested
Narcotics received a call, which gave the description of a vehicle  believed to be transporting a large of amount of illegal prescription pills that were being offered for sale. Narcotics located the vehicle illegally stopped in the 3500 block of Baldwin Avenue. Narcotics agents began to investigate the driver and the vehicle which led to a permission to search of the vehicle. Agents allegedly found 105 Xanax,  141 Hydrocodone pills, and $942 in cash.

Demond Ross, 31, 4318 Woodside Dr. He was charged with possession of CDS III Hydrocodone with intent, possession of CDS IV Xanax with intent and  unauthorized stopping in the street.

Wal-Mart employee accused of stealing store money to ‘pay for mother’s cancer treatment’

Amber Johnson, 21, 3303 Evergreen St., Alexandria, is accused of stealing money from her employer, Wal-Mart, 2050 N. Mall Drive, Alexandria, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

Johnson was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 2, and booked into the Rapides Parish Jail on a charge of theft between $300 and $500.

Over a period of time, Johnson allegedly stole money from the store. She allegedly did so to “help pay for her mother’s cancer treatments,” the police report states.

Store management provided documents that indicate, Johnson allegedly stole a total of $300.64 on Jan. 25.

17-year-old Alexandria teen accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl

James Dearborne

James Dearborne, 17, 539 N 16th St., Alexandria, has been charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and pornography involving juveniles, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

Dearborne was arrested on a warrant on Jan. 30. He is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl, whose mother reported the incident, the report indicates.

The girl allegedly told her middle school principal that she and Dearborne had consensual sex several months ago. The principal questioned the girl after hearing other students talking about the incident having found out about the act on the Internet. The principal contacted the girl’s mother who contacted the police department.

Alexandria man accused of trying to strangle his wife

Dexter King, 28, 3600 Green Meadow, Alexandria has been charged with aggravated battery and domestic abuse by strangulation, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

King was arrested on a warrant. In December, he is accused of going to the victim’s house and began an argument. He allegedly got mad, pushed the woman against the wall and choked her with his left hand.

According to the police report, King allegedly used his right hand to pull out a knife to cut the woman. Officers observed what appeared to be a little scratch on the woman’s left face.

King left before officers arrived. The victim didn’t seek medical attention.