ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. — Four people, including a 13-year-old, were arrested in a crime spree, that included an armed robbery, burglary, attempted carjacking and a chase with deputies this week in St. John Parish.
It began on March 12 around 7:40 p.m. in the 100 block of Riverside Drive in Reserve. When officers arrived, they learned a 14-year-old boy was using his iPhone while standing outside his home. He noticed a mid-sized SUV drive towards him and a young slender suspect, wearing a black-hooded shirt, got out of the passenger side of the van and demanded the 14-year-old’s phone and other belongings.
When the victim refused, the suspect later identified as the 13-year-old girl, pointed a gun at the victim and then struck him in the mouth with it. After the victim gave his phone and cash, the suspect fled in the vehicle, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
About 8 p.m., officers responded to a parking lot in the 300 block of West Airline Highway in LaPlace in reference to an attempted carjacking. When officers arrived, they learned the 41-year-old victim was sitting in her vehicle while it was running when a young subject approached the driver’s window, pointed a gun at her and demanded she get out of her vehicle. The victim then sped away and the suspect fled, the sheriff’s office says.
Just 45 minutes later, officers responded to an armed robbery in the 200 block of Somerset Road. Officers learned an elderly couple was getting out of their vehicle when they were approached by two suspects, one wearing a black hooded shirt and the other wearing a black T-shirt. One of the suspects, later identified as a 13-year-old girl, pointed a gun at them and demanded the couple's belongings, according to the sheriff’s office.
When the woman refused to give up her purse, the juvenile hit her with the gun while the other suspect hit the woman’s husband. When the couple gave up their belongings, the suspects fled. Emergency medical services arrived on scene and took the couple to they hospital. They were treated and released.
Officers were able to find the suspects' vehicle, which was reported stolen by NOPD. As officers attempted a traffic stop on U.S. 51 near Woodland Drive in LaPlace, the driver, later identified as 18-year-old Reionate Ward, refused to stop. A pursuit began as Ward sped eastbound onto I-10 then I-310 where St. Charles deputies and Louisiana State Police joined the pursuit. The chase stopped at the Highway 3127 off ramp when Ward stopped the stolen vehicle and fled on foot in the marsh, the sheriff’s office says.
Officers arrested the passengers, 39-year-old Byron Green, 24-year-old Develyn Smith, and a 13-year-old girl. Ward was later arrested after coming out of the marsh. Smith’s 8-year-old son was also a passenger of the vehicle. According to the sheriff’s office, he was turned over to his grandmother.
Green, Ward, and Smith were charged with armed robbery, attempted carjacking and burglary. Ward was charged with aggravated flight from an officer and Smith was charged with improper supervision of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The 13-year-old girl was charged also charged with armed robbery, attempted carjacking and burglary. She was also wanted on a juvenile probation warrant from NOPD. She was transferred to the New Orleans Juvenile Justice Center.
Bond has not been set for Ward, Green and Smith.
St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre praised the officers and dispatchers who helped in the arrests.
“This was a total team effort between multiple agencies, but I have to give tremendous credit to our dispatchers who gathered all details from each robbery in a short period of time and relayed it to patrol officers, which was instrumental in making the apprehensions,” he said.