Teen Faces Attempted Murder Charge After Pointing Gun At NOPD Officer During High Speed Chase

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Teen faces attempted murder charge after pointing gun at NOPD officer during high-speed chase

Updated ; Posted
Teens arrested after Desire chase
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By Marie Simoneaux

msimoneaux@nola.com,

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A 17-year-old boy is facing attempted murder charges after investigators say he fired a gun at a New Orleans Police Department officer during a high-speed chase Sunday night (May 6), according to court documents.

Three others, ages 16 to 19, who police say were in the car with the teen who fired the gun, have been additionally been booked on principle to attempted first-degree murder, the NOPD said Friday.

A group of NOPD officers and Louisiana State Troopers were looking for several carjacking suspects shortly after 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the Desire Area, and had a perimeter set up around France Road and Almonaster Avenue, when a black 2008 Honda Accord came "racing" through the area. The car's windows were "extremely tinted" and there was no license plate on the car, according to an NOPD affidavit for arrest warrant. Police later learned the car was stolen, the affidavit states.

Based on the driver's recklessness, investigators believed the suspects were in the car, and one NOPD officer began to chase it. The Honda starting fleeing east on Interstate 10. The affidavit states the car reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

The car got off at the Little Woods exit in New Orleans East, and led the NOPD officer through "several neighborhoods," before driving back onto Haynes Boulevard. 

While on Haynes, a boy sitting in the back passenger seat rolled down his window and pointed a gun at the officer. Police later identified the boy as 17-year-old Zacchaesus Tassin.

The chase continued, now with more NOPD officers and State Troopers, until the Honda crashed into a concrete wall near the intersection of Haynes Boulevard and Downman Road, close to the Lakefront Airport.

After the crash, Tassin and other four teens got out of the car and tried to run, but were quickly apprehended by police on the train tracks near the intersection of Stars and Stripes Boulevard and Downman Road. After searching the area, police found two handguns and a "high capacity magazine," according to the affidavit. 

Detective Chad Cockerham later watched footage from the police car's camera, which shows the Honda leaving view and suddenly reappearing next to the NOPD car.

According to the affidavit, the video shows the rear passenger window roll down, and a "pop" is heard, followed by the officer shouting an expletive, according to the affidavit. Although it was not clear whether or not Tassin shot at the officer, the affidavit states the sound on the video was "consistent with a weapon being discharged and the bullet striking the marked unit."

According to the affidavit, the teens told Cockerham that Tassin was sitting in the back passenger seat during the chase, and the camera footage shows him carrying a handgun and extended magazine when he gets out of the car. 

The driver of the Honda was later identified as a 17-year-old Arselle Cameron, who was initially arrested for "various traffic infractions," according to NOPD. A 16-year-old boy was also initially arrested on a curfew violation, according to the affidavit.

Booked Friday on charges of principle to attempted first-degree murder of a police officer were Cameron; Rendell Boykins, 19; and the 16-year-old. Police were still seeking to arrested Kendrick Guy, 18, on the same charge on Friday, the department said in a news release.

A warrant for Boykins' arrests states he was seated in the back seat with Tassin. 

"The mere fact that Mr. Boykins was aware that a crime was committed and attempted to flee Officers and Troopers... showed Mr. Boykins' culpability in this crime," Boykins' warrant states. Court documents for the other teens charged with principle to attempted murder were not immediately available. 

Tassin was booked into Orleans Justice Center jail Monday morning on one count each of attempted first-degree murder and resisting an officer, according to court records. He appeared in court Wednesday, where Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Robert Blackburn set his bond for $16,000. Attorney information was not immediately available. 

Editor's note: This story was updated Friday to correct an earlier version of this story that incorrectly referred to all occupants in the car as juveniles. Some passengers were 18 and 19 years old. An earlier version also mischaracterized the officer's reaction to the sound of the gunshot. Friday's updates also included new information from police about additional arrests in the case.

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Source : http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2018/05/police_chase_through_desire_ne.html

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