WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Top Story Top Story en-us Copyright 2017, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 26 Jul 2017 HH:07:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Small business owner left out in the cold after thief steals snowball stand http://www.wbrz.com/news/small-business-owner-left-out-in-the-cold-after-thief-steals-snowball-stand/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/small-business-owner-left-out-in-the-cold-after-thief-steals-snowball-stand/ Top Story Tue, 25 Jul 2017 4:37:03 PM WBRZ Staff Small business owner left out in the cold after thief steals snowball stand

BATON ROUGE - A local small business owner is asking the public for help after a thief made off with his livelihood in tow.

Andy Nguyen owns and operates the Four Seasons Snowball stand in the Baton Rouge area. He ran the entire business out of a trailer, and he's been doing so since April.

"I'm so heartbroken, like how can this happen to me?" said Nguyen.

Nguyen said the trailer was stolen Sunday morning from the parking lot of their family business Mary's Nail & Hair Salon on Coursey Boulevard. He figures the thief cut the lock and towed it away around 6am.

"It was next to the main street, I can't believe someone would come and steal the trailer on the open street like that," he said.

Nguyen said he was laid off three years ago from his dental technician job. Since then his wife has been the main bread winner working at the nail salon.

A family loan helped him purchase the snowball stand earlier this year. Nguyen said he invested all of his savings into the business and he's been using it to support his kids, paying for their education with the returns.

He's asking the public to call the police if they see his trailer.


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Bold thieves burglarize cars and leave messages in Pointe Coupee http://www.wbrz.com/news/bold-thieves-burglarize-cars-and-leave-messages-in-pointe-coupee/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bold-thieves-burglarize-cars-and-leave-messages-in-pointe-coupee/ Top Story Tue, 25 Jul 2017 9:29:55 PM WBRZ Staff Bold thieves burglarize cars and leave messages in Pointe Coupee

POINTE COUPEE - Thieves have swiped cash, guns and much more out of several vehicles in Pointe Coupee Parish over the past few weeks. 

Sheriff Bud Torres is now sending a stern warning to those criminals who are looking to burglarize more vehicles.

Brogan Gurr said his car was broken into on Monday, and that locking his car door has never been a concern because of the rural area he lives in.

"I got a long driveway they come up all the way up the road, all the way down my driveway it's pretty bold of somebody to do," Gurr said.

A deer camera captured a picture of a person on Gurr's property early Monday morning. Gurr said he put the camera outside his home three weeks ago but wasn't expecting to capture anything out of the ordinary. 

"My car was parked out there I was leaving to go to work and as soon as I got in it, I looked in my wallet and everything was out of my wallet all the cards were pulled out of it--checkbook.They didn't take any of the cards or checkbooks or anything just all the cash I had in it. They took all my cash," Gurr said. 

Gurr said after he reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office, he was surprised to learn of the number of car burglaries taking place in the area. 

"Within 5-10 miles of the same area, same instance they broke in a few vehicles and stole all the cash out of the vehicles," Gurr said.

Another vehicle in the area that was broken into also had several foul messages written on the victim's truck. Sherriff Torres is urging residents to take simple measures in order to not become an easy target.

"Lock your house, lock your car, leave the lights on outside and make yourself less of a target you know because the break-ins that we have had has been in vehicles that were left unlocked," Torres said.

As for Gurr, he's got a simple message for the suspects responsible for the recent burglaries.

"When it comes down to it, whoever doing it will get caught and probably get themselves in a bad situation and get themselves hurt trying to steal somebody's property," Gurr said.


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Despite this video of prominent attorney's DWI arrest, prosecutor throws out charges http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-this-video-of-prominent-attorney-s-dwi-arrest-prosecutor-throws-out-charges/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-this-video-of-prominent-attorney-s-dwi-arrest-prosecutor-throws-out-charges/ Top Story Tue, 25 Jul 2017 4:27:42 PM Chris Nakamoto Despite this video of prominent attorney's DWI arrest, prosecutor throws out charges

DENHAM SPRINGS – Despite police body cameras capturing a bumbling and stumbling area attorney having a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit, the city prosecutor in Denham Springs refused the charges the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit uncovered.

Alton Shelby Easterly was arrested on Christmas Day 2016 when police said they saw the car he was driving swerving from lane to lane. In video of the arrest obtained by WBRZ through a public records request, officers' body cameras recorded Easterly unable to perform tasks in a sobriety test in a parking lot following him being pulled over.

As it becomes obvious Easterly will be taken into custody, he begins to drop the names of city officials, including city prosecutor Blayne Honeycutt.

In a police report on the arrest, officers involved wrote that when they asked Easterly if he understood his rights, he stated, “call Shannon Womack.” Womack is the chief of police in Denham Springs.

Also, officers wrote, Easterly said, “'I have nothing to say, call my attorney Blain (sp) Honeycutt.'”

As the city prosecutor, Honeycutt prosecutes traffic offenses – including DWIs – in the city of Denham Springs.
When the case made its way to Honeycutt, documents WBRZ obtained show Honeycutt refused the charges against Easterly and did an informal pretrial diversion for him. Honeycutt said he has made a similar decision before since there is no formal pre-trial diversion program in the city. Though, the city's chief was not too happy when he learned of the deal.

While Womack would not do an interview on TV, he said he stands behind the work of his officers and was shocked that, despite all the evidence, the decision was made to refuse the charges.
"I'm not saying it wasn't good, we don't do pretrial diversion," Honeycutt told WBRZ. "We informal[ly] pretrial people,” he explained.

But, there are lingering questions about how the case was handled. Documents filed with the clerk show what Honeycutt worked up for Easterly wasn't signed by a judge.

"There's plenty of people who get speeding tickets all the way up to DWIs, and they don't get this kind of favorable treatment from the prosecutor," Ken Levy said. "It looks like their connection and friendship and their legal relationship got this guy off the hook and it's not fair. It's at least the appearance of favoritism and corruption."

Easterly and Honeycutt are connected through campaign contributions. When Honeycutt ran for judge in Denham Springs recently, campaign finance reports indicate Easterly donated $2,500 to him. The race was the focus of another WBRZ Investigative Unit report when Honeycutt was caught on camera tearing up his political opponent's campaign signs. Honeycutt lost the election.

In the DWI case, Easterly's blood alcohol content registered a .181 – more than twice the legal limit.

Honeycutt stands by his decision on the case.


NAKAMOTO: Was this a political favor?
HONEYCUTT: Not for me.
NAKAMOTO: Why was the DWI not good, if he was a .181 breathalyzer and failed field sobriety tests?
HONEYCUTT: I didn't say it wasn't any good. Sometimes we PTI people because we don't have a formal PTI program.


Another area district attorney questioned the case when WBRZ met with them and discussed the situation. In fact, they said the district attorney in Livingston Parish should bring charges against Easterly. A spokeswoman for Scott Perrilloux's office said the DA will look into this.

While Honeycutt said Easterly enrolled in an informal pretrial diversion, a check with those familiar with the court system in Denham Springs said there is no such thing.

When reached on the phone, Easterly said, "no comment."

If you would like to watch the full body camera video, CLICK HERE.  


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Sheriff's deputy hurt in Plaquemine crash involving ambulance http://www.wbrz.com/news/sheriff-s-deputy-hurt-in-plaquemine-crash-involving-ambulance/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sheriff-s-deputy-hurt-in-plaquemine-crash-involving-ambulance/ Top Story Tue, 25 Jul 2017 6:04:24 PM Jeremy Krail Sheriff's deputy hurt in Plaquemine crash involving ambulance

PLAQUEMINE - An Iberville Parish sheriff's deputy was hurt in a crash involving the officer's vehicle and an ambulance as both were responding to the same call Tuesday afternoon.

According to Louisiana State Police, the deputy crashed into the Acadian ambulance on Highway 75 near Stassi Road around 5:30 in the afternoon. Police say the deputy was attempting to pass the ambulance when it made a left a turn and t-boned the vehicle. Acadian says it believes the ambulance is totaled.

Police say the deputy involved was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, and two medics inside the ambulance appeared to be OK.

Authorities confirmed both vehicles were responding to the same call at the time of the crash.

This is the second crash involving the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office in the past week. On Wednesday, WBRZ reported on another crash in the area. That incident involved four officers on Eden Street, about five miles away from Stassi Road.


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