Sheriff Mike Waguespack reports that on Thursday, May 28, 2009
, his office received a 911 call concerning a robbery in progress at the Family Dollar Store in Paincourtville. The caller reported that a black male subject had just taken a large amount of cash from a safe in the store and fled in a silver passenger car.
While deputies were responding to the store dispatchers received a second 911 call reporting that the store manager had attempted to stop the man and was beaten and dragged by his car as he attempted to flee.
Upon arrival deputies attended to the injured manager and broadcasted a description of the suspect and his vehicle to other deputies. The store manager and a customer who came to her assistance were subsequently transported to Assumption Community Hospital for medical treatment.
Minutes later, Detective Melissa Reedy was searching in the Pierre Part area when she observed the suspect's vehicle traveling west on Hwy 70 near Lee Drive. Detective Reedy was traveling eastbound at the time and turned around to attempt to stop the car. The driver ignored Reedy's attempt to stop him and accelerated. The driver continued westbound on Hwy 70 reaching speeds in excess of 110mph. Reedy radioed this information to other deputies in the area. Deputy Brad Albert was on Hwy 70 near the Pierre Part Store and deployed a “spike strip” as the suspect's vehicle neared his location. This deflated one of the front tires on the vehicle but the suspect continued fleeing toward Belle River. Shortly thereafter deflated tire began disintegrating causing the suspect to stop on Hwy 70 near Shell Beach Road. The suspect then surrendered to deputies without incident.
A computer inquiry revealed that the 2006 Chevy Malibu that the suspect was driving was reported stolen earlier this week from a car dealership in Alexandria, LA.
The suspect was subsequently identified as Joe Watson 55 years of age 704 Applewhite St. in Alexandria. Watson's criminal record, which dates back to 1971, indicates that he has been arrested over sixty times for various felony charges in Texas and Louisiana.
Watson was subsequently transported to the APSO Detention Center where he was charged with Second Degree Robbery, Aggravated Flight from and Officer, Possession of Stolen Property over $500 (stolen car). Bond will be set at a later time.