January 30, 2019

Suspected Meth User Fights Deputies and Varnado Police Chief

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies Justin Blackwell and James Gregorio responded Monday (January 28, 2019) to a report of a man causing a disturbance with passing traffic on Highway 21 in Varnado. While responding to the scene, the deputies were informed that Varnado Police Chief Louis Adams was fighting with the male subject.
When the deputies arrived, they saw the man running towards a wooded area with a knife in his hand. Deputy Blackwell ordered him at gunpoint to drop the knife but the man put the knife in his front pocket. Deputies Blackwell and Gregorio then wrestled the man to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.

The man reportedly had made entry to a residence without permission and told the homeowner someone was trying to kill him. Chief Adams had responded to the residence and escorted the man outside, at which time the man produced the knife and attempted to cut Chief Adams. The man then entered another residence, repeated his allegation that someone was attempting to kill him, and fled toward the wooded area where he was ultimately subdued by the deputies.

The man was identified as Joseph Henry Demary (33) of River Ridge, Louisiana. Demary reportedly admitted to consuming crystal meth.  As he was being transported to the jail, Demary began kicking at the doors and windows of the patrol vehicle. Deputy Blackwell stopped his vehicle and, with the assistance of officers of the WPSO  Drug Task Force, placed Demary in leg shackles in addition to his handcuffs.

Demary continued to be physically aggressive at the jail and had to be subdued and restrained by jail officers before being placed in a cell.

Demary was charged with obstructing a public passage, two counts of unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling, resisting an officer by force or violence, resisting an officer by flight on foot and aggravated assault upon a peace officer.  His bond was set at $50,000.

“This situation could have gone bad very quickly,” said Sheriff Randy Seal.  “While under the influence of illegal narcotics, Demary posed a real and substantial threat to residents and to officers who arrived on the scene.  The box cutter knife he wielded  had the potential of inflicting serious wounds to the officers who eventually subdued him.  Kudos to  Deputy Blackwell, Deputy Gregario and Chief Adams for being able to apprehend Demary without injury to anyone.”

Sheriff Seal continued.  “This is an ongoing problem faced daily by our fine jail staff.  Persons under the influence of illegal drugs and persons with mental health issues must be properly cared for. With few resources at their disposal, our nurse and jail officers do an outstanding job of managing such persons.  Just in the last three years, 639 inmates were placed on detox protocols for significant drug or alcohol abuse.  In addition, 76 inmates were referred for mental health evaluations.  We must never, ever, underestimate the valuable services provided by our jail staff.”

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