Christopher Townsend (32) of Covington is behind bars after he reportedly attempted to run over an off-duty St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s reserve deputy following a hit-and-run incident Wednesday afternoon (February 21, 2018).
The deputy was driving his personal pickup and was stopped on Penn Mill Road at the intersection of Hwy. 190 near Covington. Townsend's vehicle struck the deputy's truck, swerved back onto the highway, and continued westbound on U.S. 190. The deputy followed Townsend while calling 911 to request marked units. The vehicle continued to drive erratically, turned onto La. 1077, entered a subdivision, and made a U-turn. The deputy exited his truck, identified himself as law enforcement and ordered the vehicle to stop. Instead, Townsend accelerated in an apparent attempt to run over the deputy.
Fearing for his safety, the reserve deputy discharged his off-duty weapon at the suspect and was able to avoid being struck. Marked units from Covington Police Department arrived and were able to apprehend the Townsend. He failed a field sobriety test and refused to submit to a breathalyzer. No one was injured in the incident.
Townsend was booked on the charges of Hit and Run, Driver Must Be Licensed, Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle Upon a Peace Officer, and DWI First Offense.
Townsend has an extensive criminal history out of Texas, including arrests for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, burglary, assault of a family member, evading arrest, failure to identify, driving while intoxicated, driving under suspension and drug charges.