NPSO: Gorum man, girlfriend arrested in connection with State Police pursuit, infant in vehicle
NATCHITOCHES, La. (NPSO) - Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a Gorum man and his girlfriend in connection with a pursuit in Natchitoches and Rapides Parishes on Thursday afternoon.
On January 28, a state trooper clocked a Ford Focus speeding at 101 mph in a posted 75 mph speed zone, traveling south on I-49 near Cloutierville. State Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued driving into the Janie and Gorum communities and into Mora in Rapides Parish.
Additional LSP and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Units responded to the area to assist in the pursuit. State Police said the pursuit continued over into Rapides Parish on the Tom Edwards Road where the vehicle became disabled.
A male driver and a female passenger holding a child fled from the vehicle into a nearby abandoned barn.
Shortly after, the female, identified as Tessa B. Coutee, 23, of Gorum, and her 2-month-old infant exited the barn walking towards law enforcement, following verbal commands. The driver of the vehicle, Daniel A. Rister, 28, of Gorum, was observed fleeing from the barn into nearby woods.
While interviewing Coutee, she stated that she and Rister were arguing in the vehicle just prior to the pursuit and she tried to get him to stop but he refused.
On January 31, around 7:45 a.m., a team of Louisiana State Police Troopers assigned to Troop-E Alexandria and NPSO Deputies armed with a criminal arrest warrant, went to a residence located in the 100 block of Andy Cedars Road in Gorum. Shortly after arriving at the residence, law enforcement made contact with Coutee. She stated that Rister was not at the residence and when asked if she would give permission to search the residence, she granted permission. State Police and deputies found Rister hiding in the attic, along with an AR-15 rifle.
Both Rister and Coutee were placed under arrest. Deputies discovered the AR-15 rifle had been stolen on January 11 during a residential burglary on Janie-Gorum Road in Gorum. The firearm was seized as evidence to be turned over to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division.
Rister was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with speeding 101/75, aggravated flight from a police officer, aggravated obstruction of a highway, driving under suspension, criminal trespassing, resisting an officer, criminal damage to property, child desertion and illegal possession of a stolen firearm.
Coutee was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with accessory after the fact for harboring Rister and criminal obstruction of justice.
Both Rister and Coutee are facing additional criminal charges in Rapides Parish and remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. The child has been released to relatives, however, State DCFS are expected to be notified of this investigation.
This is an ongoing investigation into the burglary case.
“We are pleased that we were able to assist Louisiana State Police with the arrest of this suspect and recover a stolen potentially dangerous weapon,” said Sherrif Wright. “We had been receiving complaints/calls for service of Rister allegedly firing an AR-15 in the Gorum area but when deputies responded to the residence he would hide or run into the woods avoiding contact with law enforcement. We hope this arrest by Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office will ease some concern for the safety of the citizens in the Gorum area.”
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