West bank deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office have been responding to increased calls about all-terrain vehicles on roadways.
During the May 12 virtual meeting of the Donaldsonville City Council, Captain Darryl Smith gave a detailed report on the “numerous calls and complaints” about the ATVs, particularly four-wheelers, being driven on streets and highways.
Smith said the Sheriff’s Office has been fully staffed throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and deputies have been conducting stops and writing citations.
He reported 13 citations given within the previous two-week period.
Smith said Mother’s Day, which was May 10, is a traditionally busy day for local law enforcement. In preparation, the west side patrol was at full staff with an additional deputy called in for assistance.
Throughout the Mother’s Day holiday, deputies were dispatched to 49 calls.
“That is unheard of,” Smith said, adding that other holidays do not typically bring such a high number of calls.
Additionally, Smith said deputies were made aware of a “block party” along St. Vincent Street, near 5th Street.
According to Smith, a Sheriff’s Office supervisor spoke with an area homeowner who promised not to host a large-scale party at the residence.
The night shift responded to the 1200 and 1300 block of St. Vincent Street to find “at least 200 to 300 people” in the vicinity, the Captain said.
Additional assistance was called in from the east bank to help as the crowd dispersed, according to the Captain.
Smith said the crowd left the scene, but later returned to the same area. The homeowner was issued a citation for allowing a disorderly place.
Council member Lauthaught Delaney said the matter was concerning especially due to the disregard for the Stay-at-Home order and social distancing measures.
“This was an embarrassment,” Council member Reginald Francis said.
Francis, who represents the district, said the area seemed “like a drag strip.”
Smith said he and local deputies are being proactive in an attempt to “stop it before it starts.”
The Captain went on to say many of the ATV riders have been coming into the area from other places. Smith said he was told one group was from the New Orleans area.
“We’re not turning a blind eye to this,” he said.
In another matter during the meeting, Donaldsonville Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux gave his monthly report.
He said no structure fires were called in during the previous month.
Firefighters have not been able to conduct their normal training due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gautreaux said he and Assistant Fire Chief Travis Cedotal have been working two days per week at the fire station. They are looking into opening the station with certain conditions to ensure safety.
Also, Gautreaux said Acadian Ambulance has expressed interest in renting the former fire station along Lafourche Street.
Acadian currently leases a building across Bayou Lafourche on Veterans Blvd.