Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of Mark Dirance (age 21) of Thibodaux on Wednesday, February 15. Dirance had several outstanding warrants for his arrest, but he also faces new charges stemming from Wednesday’s incident.
At around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, deputies responded to a domestic incident in Thibodaux involving Mark Dirance. Upon arrival, Dirance attempted to flee on foot, but he was quickly taken into custody. Through investigation, deputies learned Dirance arrived at the woman’s residence and began knocking on her door. The woman did not allow Dirance to enter the residence, and Dirance eventually forced his way into the residence. He immediately grabbed the woman by the neck and began strangling her while striking her head against a wall.
Dirance had active warrants stemming from incidents on December 25 and 26, 2016, wherein he struck the victim in the face in the presence of two children. This subsequently led to a warrant for a probation violation.
Dirance was booked on the outstanding warrants for two counts of Domestic Abuse Battery with Child Endangerment and Violation of Probation, as well as warrants for Terrebonne Parish for Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Illegal Use of Weapons, and possession of a firearm on school property. He was additionally booked with Domestic Abuse Battery Involving Strangulation, Home Invasion, and Resisting an Officer. He is currently being held without bond due to the probation violation.
Sheriff Craig Webre announced a social media post threatening violence at a school poses NO credible threat to Lafourche Parish. This was determined after investigators traced the source of the post to an account based in North Carolina. In the post, the user threatened to “shoot up” a school. While no school was specified in the post itself, the user’s profile indicated his hometown as “Cut Off, LA.” Investigators with the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina made contact with the owner of the account, identified as a male teenager, and they are currently investigating the matter. They have determined there is no credible threat to any Lafourche Parish school.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office began investigating late Wednesday after the post was discovered by federal authorities. In reviewing the social media profile, detectives learned early in the investigation that the user was likely located out of state, possibly in North Carolina. Detectives worked with the social media outlet, federal authorities, and the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office, in an attempt to identify the social media user. After identifying the user of the account, detectives determined he had no known local ties to Lafourche Parish.
Additional resources were deployed to schools in the southern area of Lafourche Parish out of an abundance of caution Thursday morning as the investigation continued.
“It is not clear why this individual chose to list his hometown as Cut Off, but that alone was enough for us to act upon this threat,” said Sheriff Webre. “We understand this caused some panic in our community, but we want our citizens to know that we were on top of the investigation from the beginning. The additional resources we deployed to area schools were in the interest of the utmost safety of the children.”
Sheriff Webre also hopes this incident serves as a warning to others. “We have no choice but to take every threat seriously, especially when it threatens the lives of potentially hundreds of children,” said Sheriff Webre. “Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking of making threats on social media: there is no level of anonymity that will hide you. We will investigate every threat, we will find you, and we will be sure you are charged appropriately.”
The matter is currently under investigation by the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Any criminal charges which arise from this case would be filed in that jurisdiction.
Sheriff Craig Webre announced the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a threat of violence at a school which was posted on social media on Wednesday, February 15. At this time, investigators do not believe the threat is credible, but all standard protocols for such a situation have been enacted out of an abundance of caution.
The threat originated on social media and does not mention a specific school, but the user’s hometown is listed as “Cut Off, LA.” Sheriff Webre said additional resources have been deployed to the schools today.
“Based on this user’s other posts, investigators do not believe the user is from the area,” said Sheriff Webre. “With that said, we must take every threat seriously. We have instituted our protocols for such a situation, and we are working with the social media network, as well as federal authorities, to identify this individual.”
Anyone who may have information on this threat, or any threat involving violence at a school, is asked to submit the information to Crime Stoppers Bayou Region by phone at 1-800-743-7433 or online at www.crimestoppersbr.org. Tips can also be submitted using the P3 Tips app on your mobile device. Tipsters could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 in cash if the information leads to an arrest.
Sheriff Craig Webre announced two inmates have been charged following an incident at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. Inmates Dyrion Patterson (age 22) and Jamyren Richard (age 17) both face charges in the incident. Correctional officers opened an investigation after learning of an incident involving the battery of an inmate which occurred on January 8, 2017. Through investigation, officers learned some black male inmates allegedly threatened several white male inmates and made statements of a racial nature in targeting these individuals. On January 8, two of those making threats – Patterson and Richard – pinned another inmate down and struck him in the face several times, and they also forced him into the cell bars, which caused an injury to the back of his head. Both Patterson and Richard were charged with Second Degree Battery and Hate Crimes.
Patterson was in jail for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon in the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and four charges of Contempt of Court. With the new charges, his total bond is now set at $161,000 bond.
Richard was in jail for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. His total bond is now set at $41,000.
Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of Larry Smith Jr. (age 18) of Gray on Thursday. Just before 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, deputies responded to a report of a robbery at a car wash in Bayou Blue. Through investigation, deputies learned Smith had met a male acquaintance at the car wash in an attempt to trade a bicycle for some electronic cigarette equipment. Once Smith obtained the equipment, he refused to give the other man the bicycle, and a verbal altercation ensued. At one point, Smith reached into the other man’s vehicle, grabbed a pack of cigarettes, and fled the scene on the bicycle. Later that day, deputies observed Smith traveling as a passenger in a vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Smith was immediately taken into custody, and deputies were able to recover the stolen items. Smith was transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux and booked with Simple Robbery. His bond is set at $20,000.
Larry Smith Jr
Sheriff Craig Webre has announced a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) course has been scheduled for March 27, 28, and 29 at The Learning Center at Lady of the Sea Hospital, located at 200 West 134th Place in Cut Off.
This self-defense course is designed exclusively for women and will take place over the course of all three days. The class will begin at 6 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. each day. Participants must attend all three days. Course instruction will be provided by certified R.A.D. instructions from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The cost of the course is $10 to cover the cost of course materials. Class size is limited, and advance registration is required. You can register online through our website at www.LPSO.net/RADsignup. Payment cannot be made through the online sign-up form, but the fee must be pre-paid and is non-refundable. Please send payment by mail, along with your name, address, and phone number to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, Attn: Captain Lafate Day, 1300 Lynn Street, Thibodaux, LA 70301. Please make checks payable to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office. The deadline to register for the class is Wednesday, March 22 at 11 a.m.
For more information, please contact Captain Lafate Day at (985) 449-4485 or by email at email@example.com.
Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of Dylan Melancon (age 19) of Golden Meadow on Thursday, February 9.
At around 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, deputies were dispatched to the 24200 block of Highway 1 in Golden Meadow in reference to Dylan Melancon allegedly shooting in the direction of a female subject. Upon arrival to the area, deputies immediately located Melancon and detained him for questioning. Deputies learned Melancon’s ex-girlfriend had arrived at his residence earlier that day to retrieve some belongings. Melancon arrived shortly thereafter, and a verbal altercation ensued. The female subject retreated to a vehicle, and Melancon allegedly pointed a shotgun at her. Melancon then allegedly fired two rounds from the shotgun into the ground near the vehicle.
Through the course of the investigation, deputies learned Melancon had struck his ex-girlfriend twice earlier this week. Following the investigation, Melancon was arrested and transported to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux where he was booked with two counts of Domestic Abuse Battery, Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault, and Illegal use of a Firearm. His bond has not yet been set.