KENNER – A man suspected of trying to lure or kidnap women and children in at least four separate incidents in Metairie and Kenner was arrested Friday after a short standoff with SWAT officers in Kenner.
Joseph Picard, 41, was taken into custody without incident in the 2200 block of Idaho Street.
“What we know about Mr. Picard is that he is a drug addict,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. “His most recent drug of choice is heroin.”
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said that Picard had an arrest history that included: 4 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, 9 counts of simple burglary, and at least one count of illegal possession of crack cocaine, illegal use of a firearm, illegal possession of narcotics and a parole violation.
Normand said Picard spent the night at the Kenner location as a woman told them that she had let him inside.
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Normand said U.S. Marshals found Picard and the SWAT team was called after. A robot was sent inside of the location, and when it was determined that Picard was unarmed, officers went inside and took him into custody.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Picard approached a group of kids Thursday at Mike Miley Playground in Metairie and offered them $100 to do work for him.
The children refused and called deputies, who questioned Picard and later released him.
Around 8:15 p.m., deputies responded to an attempted kidnapping in the 2200 block of Judith Drive in Metairie. A 15-year-old girl said a man matching Picard's description grabbed her by the arm and yelled at her to get in a gray or silver truck.
Within a half-hour, detectives found out about another attempted kidnapping near Jade Street and Buras Drive in Metairie. A 28-year-old woman told officers a man grabbed her from behind and put what she thought to be a knife to her neck.
She said she fell to the ground and began to scream and fight the man before she broke away. The woman said she saw the same man in a gray or silver truck circling near her home about 10 minutes later.
Both victims identified Picard as the would-be kidnapper.
In addition, Kenner Police Chief Michael Glaser said his office is investigating an incident where a man approached a teen girl in Kenner near Veterans Boulevard and Massachussetts Street, and offered her $100 to pose for nude photographs.
Investigators said they believe the incidents are related. They had tried to reach Picard several times but have been unsuccessful.
Anyone with information on Picard is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.