Paperwork mix-up leads to arrest in Livingston Parish
WALKER - A paperwork mix-up in Livingston Parish caused the sheriff's office to make an arrest that shouldn't have happened.
The sheriff's office had two warrants still active for a man who didn't pay court costs from a child support issue. The problem is those court costs were settled last year, but the warrants weren't recalled.
Jackson Creel Jr. claims an entire SWAT team kicked in his door and threw tear gas into his house last week. When he started asking questions, he claimed he was taken into custody for resisting arrest. Creel uses crutches to get around, and claimed he was injured by a Livingston Parish deputy.
"I was slammed to the ground in front of my home for no reason," Creel said.
He claims other family members inside his house were also hurt. A slit in the air conditioning unit and a dented door show the force that was used.
"The officer told me I was resisting," Creel said. "I said no sir, I'm not resisting, and he physically slammed me to the asphalt, face first and that's what injured my knee."
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said his deputies were acting on two active arrest warrants because Creel owed court costs for a child support case. Both of the warrants are dated July 12, 2012. Ard paints a different picture of what happened, and claims his men had no other choice when they confronted Creel.
"We've been there several times," Ard said. "He's not somebody you can let your guard down on. He's already been combative through the door, so the deputies backed off. Nothing worked so we made forced entry into the home."
News 2 found out those warrants were recalled by a judge two days after deputies used force to enter Creel's home. Two different receipts show Creel paid his court costs in November and December of last year. One shows he paid $228.36, and another shows he paid $242. Both receipts have matching docket numbers that correspond to the arrest warrants. The warrants were never recalled, even though Creel was in compliance for over eight months.
"If it was a mixup, we have to look at what we have, and it was two valid warrants and that's what they picked up," Ard said.
Creel believes changes need to result from this, so others don't go to jail like he did.
"This could have been handled differently," Creel said. "People didn't have to get injured like this."
Creel was charged with resisting arrest and intimidation. He plans to file a complaint with the sheriff's office over this incident.