A chase ensued after DeRidder police responded to a complaint of loud music. One of the suspects fired shots in the air, ennabling all three to escape capture.
A four agency manhunt involving gunshots and a chase ended with the arrest of three men in DeRidder Tuesday morning. One of the men later told police officers he had two bench warrants out on his name in Vernon Parish.
Around 11 p.m. on Monday night, the police department received a complaint of loud music. Officers Joshua Stanford, Jo Chapa and Jake Pearson responded to the call on Brinson Street where they encountered Leslie Scallon, Michael Pitts and Thomas Murray.
Officers began to check the men for weapons when Stanford found a gun that Scallon was concealing in the front of his pants. As Stanford attempted to remove the gun, Scallon resisted and then shoved Stanford. Then, Scallon, Pitts and Murray fled from the officers.
A chase ensued, but when Pitts took out his own handgun and fired two shots into the air, the officers, believing that they were being shot at, took cover. The three suspects managed to escape.
A manhunt began soon after involving the DeRidder Police Department, the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, and the Rosepine Police Department.
At 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Pitts was arrested on Scallon Road in DeRidder. Pitts cooperated with the police, aiding detectives Shane Fruge and Reese Martin in finding the gun he had fired earlier near local railroad tracks. He has been booked into the parish jail under the charges of possession of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies, illegal carrying of weapons and also illegal use of a firearm or dangerous instrumentalities.
Scallon was arrested a short time later at 4:14 a.m., also arrested on Scallon Road. In addition to the same charges Pitts received, Scallon was charged with resisting an officer and battery of an officer. The latter is in reference to when he shoved Stanford.
Both Pitts and Scallon were on probation/parole at the time of the incident.
Murray was arrested Tuesday afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m. during a traffic stop on Martin Luther King Drive. According to Fruge, detectives had been alerted that Murray was in his vehicle. Once detectives spotted the vehicle, they pulled Murray over. Murray informed the detectives that he fled the scene the night before because of two bench warrants in his name out of Vernon Parish.
All three subjects are also being investigated for some recent thefts committed in the area.
According to Chief Deputy Joe Toler with the BPSO, the men are believed to be responsible for at least nine burglaries that occurred between DeRidder and Allen Parish.
All are being held in the parish jail with further charges pending. No bond has been set at this time.
The DeRidder Police Department also arrested a Leesville man recently.
On Monday night, during the investigation into the loud music call, officers responded to a report of vehicles being burglarized on Auburn Street, off of High School Drive. Officers arrested Justin Sharbono of Leesville and Reanna Knox of Merryville and charged the two with simple burglary, theft and conspiracy to commit burglaries. Sharbono was also charged with disturbing the peace.