It was Sunday, May 25, when well-known attorneys J. Clay LeJeune and his wife Mitzi Mayeaux were about to sit down for a meal with their teenage daughter, but that meal would never be eaten thanks to a surprise visit by the Crowley PD.
It all started when the family’s neighbor heard yelling coming from their backyard, a girl or woman, calling out what might have been “help me.” The neighbor wasn’t quite sure. But not taking any chances, a call was placed to 911, with the neighbor making sure to tell the operator “it may be nothing.” And according to the family’s attorney Barry Sallinger, it was nothing.
In an interview with The Advocate, Sallinger confirms that there was yelling. But the yelling wasn’t out of distress. The yelling came from the couple’s teenage daughter after the family dog, a spry Yorkie, somehow had managed to make it past an electric fence surrounding the backyard. So, she hollered out; according to Sallinger, it wasn’t “help me” as the neighbor thought he’d heard, but “daddy.”
But with the 911 call came the Crowley Police Department, and officers were soon pulling up outside the home of the unsuspecting family. And before the couple could sit down to dinner with their daughter, in came the Crowley PD, crashing through the unlocked front door of the family’s home without so much as a knock.
The details of what happened next remain spotty. What we do know is that the Crowley PD’s surprise visit has since resulted in the couple being indicted on criminal charges. The indictment was handed down earlier this week, slapping LeJeune with three counts of public intimidation for allegedly threatening the officers who busted in his home, and an extra two counts of resisting an officer with force or violence. Mayeaux was also included in the indictment on a lone charge of public intimidation.
The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office, but officials there aren’t talking, and neither is the embattled Crowley Police Chief K.P. Gibson.
“The indictments come on the heels of a home invasion and how a good family reacted to it,” Sallinger tells The Advocate. “The LeJeune family will aggressively fight to demonstrate their absolute innocence and the restoration of their civil rights as would any American family.”
Gibson recently found himself the target of his own set of serious allegations and a federal lawsuit filed last week on allegations that about 30 of the department’s officers were illegally hired and about 130 were improperly hired by the chief over the last five years. Documents provided to The IND also show an attempt to cover up the chief’s alleged illegitimate practices after-the-fact by the mayor and city council. (Read that story here.)