NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The NOPD on Tuesday arrested a 30-year-old Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy and booked him with aggravated assault and simple battery in connection with multiple incidents that spanned three police districts.
On Monday at around 10:34 p.m., an aggravated assault was reported in the 1100 block of Camp Street. According to the victims, Deputy Paul Sylvester, who was dressed in an Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office uniform and driving in a fully marked OPSO van, began following their vehicle near the intersection of Camp and Calliope streets. According to the victims, Sylvester then pulled alongside their vehicle and began screaming at them. When the victims came to a stop, they said Sylvester got out of his van and fired multiple shots at them. No one was injured in the incident and the victims were able to escape.
Around 11 p.m., police said Sylvester drove into the Waffle House parking lot located in the 4600 block of Old Gentilly Road. Once inside, Sylvester asked who was driving a sports car that was parked in the parking lot. A 21-year-old man told Sylvester that he was the owner of the car. At that point, Sylvester ordered the man to give him his driver's license because he was under investigation. Both men walked into the parking lot, where Sylvester then asked the man for the keys to the car. The man refused, and Sylvester grabbed his arm and threw him to the ground. After a brief struggle, the victim was able to break free from Sylvester. When Sylvester realized that a witness was recording the incident, he started yelling at the victim and witnesses to stop recording. He drove out of the parking lot toward nearby Louisa Street.
During the course of the investigation, officers learned that Sylvester returned to his home in the 7700 block of Swift Street in Eastern New Orleans. Officers located the OPSO van parked in front of the home and detectives set up surveillance of the residence while a search warrant was obtained.
On Tuesday, at around 3 a.m., Sylvester and his father left the home driving in a blue PT Cruiser. The officers followed the vehicle for a short distance and then conducted a traffic stop at Dwyer and Downman Road. Both Sylvester and his father got out of the vehicle, and Sylvester was taken into custody without further incident.
While on the scene, officers observed Sylvester displaying bizarre behavior.
Sylvester was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was treated and released Tuesday afternoon.
Sylvester was booked into Central Lock-Up and charged with aggravated assault and simple battery.
During a search of Sylvester's home, officers recovered the weapon detectives believed he used during the initial incident as well as his OPSO uniform.
Third and Sixth District Detectives are in charge of the investigation.