On July 4, 2017 at approximately 10:30 p.m. an individual approached a Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office (RRPSO) deputy as he was exiting the Coushatta Truck Stop on Cutoff Road in Coushatta. The man reported that a person had just driven into the parking lot, parked behind him and was acting strangely.
As the deputy approached the suspect, later identified as Melvin Thomas, he detected that a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanated from his person. The deputy also observed Thomas holding a nearly empty bottle of Vodka and noted that he was unable to speak clearly while engaged in conversation. For officer and public safety, Thomas was temporarily detained and escorted the deputy’s patrol unit while the deputy continued to investigate the incident. Thomas lost his balance multiple times while in route to the vehicle and required assistance to enter the unit. He also became verbally abusive toward the deputy.
After speaking with witnesses, Thomas was subsequently placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to the Red River Parish Jail (RRPJ) where he refused to submit to the chemical test for intoxication. During the booking process, Thomas attempted to bribe the deputy in order to gain his release. When those attempts failed, he became increasingly uncooperative and made verbal threats toward deputies.
Melvin J. Thomas, B/M, age 54 of the 1300 block of Francois St., Mansfield, LA was charged with the following: Disturbing the Peace (Intoxicated in Public), Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (Fourth Offense), Public Intimidation (two counts), Public Bribery, Driving Under Suspension for Prior DWI, Open Container Violation and Resisting an Officer.
His bond was set at $28,000 and he remains incarcerated. A probation and parole hold has also been placed on his release.