Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre has issued a stern warning regarding reckless motor vehicle operation on public property, especially boat launches, following several incidents over the last few months.
“Driving recklessly on public property should be no one’s idea of a good time,” said Sheriff Webre. “It’s irresponsible, criminal behavior, and we will pursue violators. This type of activity leads to more and more tax dollars being spent for repairs after each occurrence.”
Over the last three months, detectives have been investigating reports of vandalism and reckless operation of motor vehicles in the parking lot of the Sanchez Boat Launch, a public boat launch located at 829 Sanchez Road in Thibodaux (Choctaw area). Detectives learned the reckless operation led to ruts, causing frequent repairs to the parking lot by Lafourche Parish Government. Parking lot lights and the solar panels which supply their power were often found broken due to flying rocks caused by the reckless motor vehicle operation.
On Thursday, June 12, Lafourche Parish Government officials reported additional damage had occurred following the most recent parking lot repairs made on Tuesday, June 10. Through investigation, detectives identified two separate vehicles had caused damage on June 11 and 12. Detectives issued a criminal summons to Toby Talbot (W/M, D.O.B. 02/21/96) of 504 Highway 307 in Thibodaux and Godfrey Boudreaux Jr. (W/M, D.O.B. 03/04/86) of 116 Dorothy Drive in Thibodaux for the incidents, after each admitted to their involvements. Each was charged with Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Simple Criminal Damage to Property. Last month, detectives similarly charged three adults and one juvenile following similar incidents.
Sheriff Webre reminds residents that these laws apply to all vehicles including all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles. Louisiana R.S. 14:99 defines Reckless Operation of a Vehicle as the operation of any motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance in a criminally negligent or reckless manner. When that reckless operation also leads to damage, R.S. 14:56 (Simple Criminal Damage to Property) also applies, and the violator could be held financially liable for damages.