CPSO: Suspect who tried to drive off with deputy’s arm in car window captured after manhunt

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 2:13 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2023 at 4:53 PM CST
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Sulphur, LA (KPLC) - Lockdowns were lifted at three Sulphur schools Wednesday after a manhunt came to an end.

Calcasieu Parish deputies stopped a “suspicious” car with expired tags around the 100 block of Vine Street in Sulphur around 1 p.m., according to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“Approached the vehicle to ID the person, find out he has warrants, try to get him to get out of the car,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. “He refuses and at some point rolls the deputy’s arm up in the car and starts backing up.”

Clausy Bernard, 36, tried to drive off while the deputy attempted to free his arm from the window, according to CPSO.

“His partner comes up and they end up shooting the window out of the car, to get the deputy free from the car,” Sheriff Mancuso said.

When the deputy’s arm was freed, Bernard sped away in the white Toyota Camry, according to CPSO. Deputies pursued him, nearby schools were placed on lockdown and SWAT was called in.

Eventually Bernard’s vehicle got stuck in a wooded area just east of Beglis Parkway. Bernard then ran into an abandoned building, according to CPSO.

Deputies surrounded the building, and Bernard surrendered just before 3 p.m.

Students told us they are thankful for the quick work of the sheriff’s department in catching the suspect. Mancuso said students were never in danger.

Bernard was already wanted on out-of-state warrants and now faces additional charges of resisting an officer, aggravated flight from an officer and disruption of school operations. His bond has not been set.

Sheriff Mancuso said this is what his deputies deal with every day.

“What we deal with every day, we deal with dangerous people. I’m proud of the deputies for quick thinking. The one deputy that was stuck tried to break the window and couldn’t. And the other one had the presence enough, the only way he could probably do that was to shoot that one out. So I don’t second-guess them. I think they acted appropriately,” he said.

One deputy was hospitalized with minor injuries. No serious injuries have been reported.