Jennings Hate Crime - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jennings Hate Crime

March 8, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson

Violent crimes happen far too often, but not even law enforcement officers are free from these dangers.  The Jennings Police Department is dealing with just such a case after one of their own officers was attacked.   According to authorities this is not just a simply case of battery, this may be a hate crime.

Jennings Chief of Police Johnny Lassiter said, "They beat him.   They knocked him to the ground and they beat him."  Lassiter was talking about what allegedly happened at a Jennings bar on February 24th just after 12:30 in the morning.   This is the same time that off duty veteran Jennings Police Officer Lt. Craig Billodeaux was trying to go home.   Lassiter said, "That's when they walked outside and they hit him from behind."

Authorities believe they know who attacked Billodeaux.   Lassiter said, "We narrowed it down to the three people that we eventually ended up getting warrants for."  Corey Scott Gary, Michael Tad Gary and alleged getaway car driver Crystal Broussard were all arrested and charged with second degree battery and hate crime charges.

Not every hate crime in the Bayou State is racially motivated.   For instance, if a police officer is attacked for simply performing his duties while on the job, that crime falls under the Louisiana hate crime statue.  According to the Jennings Police Department, this is the first time; at least in recent history that one of their officers has been attacked while being off duty.

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