Sheriff Daniel Edwards says on October 25, 2023, Sheriff's Deputies along with the Ponchatoula Police Department responded to a residence on N 11th Street in Ponchatoula shortly after 5:00 PM after receiving a call for a domestic disturbance in which a subject had committed physical abuse on the victim.
Deputies were met by the victim who apprised them of the situation, only to discover the suspect, later identified as Stephens, had armed himself with a knife and refused to exit the home. To further complicate the matter, Stephens claimed to possess a firearm within the residence, intensifying the potential danger to law enforcement officers.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Special Response Team was deployed and members of the Negotiation Team initiated contact with the suspect. Despite persistent efforts, Stephens declined to cooperate and continued to barricade himself inside the residence. After an extensive period of unsuccessful negotiations, a chemical agent was introduced into the premises which compelled Stephens to surrender without any harm. But it still wasn't over!
Stephens was taken into custody and, considering his prior medical conditions, Stephens was transported to a local hospital for a thorough evaluation. While at the hospital, the suspect exhibited combative behavior, striking a deputy in the face and attempting to disarm the deputy of his service weapon. The deputy regained control and successfully restrained the suspect.
Following the necessary medical treatment and evaluation, Stephens was released from the hospital and transferred to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail where he was charged with Domestic Abuse/Aggravated Assault, Resisting an officer, Battery On A Police Officer (Felony), and Attempted Disarming Of A Police Officer.
***All persons accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty***