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Four arrested and assault weapons seized

Photo provided by Washington Parish Sheriff's Office Photo provided by Washington Parish Sheriff's Office

Washington Parish, La. - A Washington Parish deputy was on patrol Monday, December 3rd when authorities say shots fired from an assault rifle passed near her vehicle.

The sheriff's office says the deputy began following the car where the shots came from and the driver led her on a high speed chase on Highway 10.

The pursuit reached speeds of 80 mph in the 55 mph zone and authorities say the driver crossed the center line multiple times during heavy fog.

The deputy was finally able to stop the vehicle on Highway 10 at Choctaw Road.

Four people were arrested. Joseph Michael Easterling of Franklinton is booked with aggravated assault on a police officer, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal damage to property and open container. Authorities say he admitted to firing the weapon and said he thought wasn't doing anything wrong by shooting at highway signs.

Laken Breanna Magee of Franklinton was driving the car. She is booked with criminal mischief and reckless operation of a vehicle. She told police the group had been "hanging out" at Easterling's home, drinking beer and decided to ride around and shoot the weapon.

Tristen Blake Sullivan of Franklinton is booked with criminal mischief and open container. The car belonged to him, but he told authorities his driver's license was under suspension due to a previous DWI so he let Magee drive. He confirmed to deputies the group was bored and just wanted to have a little fun.

James Lynch of Bogalusa was also arrested. He was booked with criminal mischief and open container. He refused to comment.

The deputy who made the arrests also seized an AK-47 assault rifle loaded with a banana clip and 30 hollow-point cartridges, along with a .22 caliber LR modeled after an AR-15 assault rife.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said, "thanks to the quick and decisive action by Deputy Rice, two assault rifles were taken out of circulation and a person acting in a very reckless and dangerous manner was placed in jail where he belongs. It is almost incomprehensible to me that this occurred twice in the same weekend. Deputies Raymond Myers and Chris Galloway made an arrest and confiscated an AR-15 assault rifle Friday evening. Then, approximately 48 hours later, a similar thing happened again."

Sheriff Seal continued, "The good people of Washington Parish should not have to fear for their lives when they are in their own homes or traveling on our roads. It is unfortunate that we have a few knuckleheads who have no regard for the safety of others. I will not tolerate such reckless behavior and our Deputies will respond quickly and take whatever action is appropriate and necessary to locate the offenders and place them in jail where they belong. These individuals will be referred to the District Attorney for prosecution."

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