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Fleeing the scene should not imply guilt in face of drug charges

Two men from New Orleans were recently arrested and are facing multiple charges in Louisiana. The arrest started with the report of a suspected road rage incident on the North Shore. The St. Tammany Parrish Sheriff’s office responded to the call, and the suspects are facing multiple drug charges and a weapons charge.

The initial report to the sheriff’s office said that there was a road rage incident involving a gun on Interstate 59 near Pearl River. The suspects were reportedly in a blue Toyota Prius. The sheriff’s deputy pulled over the car, and as he was approaching the car the two occupants of the vehicle apparently fled on foot. The suspects ran into a nearby neighborhood and were apprehended a short time later in a portable toilet.

During a subsequent search of the Prius, a number of suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found. The drugs allegedly included bags of marijuana, ecstasy and heroin. A handgun was also said to have been found in the car. The gun and the car had been both reported stolen.

Being pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy can be an unsettling and frightening experience. A fight or flight reaction may cause a person to flee and should not be considered an implication that the fleeing person is guilty. Anyone facing drug charges or other criminal charges in Louisiana is presumed innocent until, and only if — proven guilty in court and beyond a reasonable doubt. A suspect has the right to speak with an attorney and if one is confused or unsure as to one’s rights, a lawyer is typically a valuable ally as a criminal case heads to court.

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