Slaughter officer resigns after arrest, punching fire chief

Slaughter officer resigns after arrest, punching fire chief
Officer Danny Coy Hobgood with the Slaughter Police Department was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 7, then resigned the following day after a video of him punching the Slaughter fire chief surfaced on Snapchat. (Source: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office)

SLAUGHTER, La. (WAFB) - Police Chief Dave Almond confirms to WAFB that Danny Coy Hobgood, 36, has resigned from the Slaughter Police Department.

A video surfaced on Snapchat early on Wednesday, Aug. 7 of a Slaughter police officer, later identified as Hobgood, allegedly punching Slaughter Fire Chief Billy Poche in a gas station parking lot.

The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office says around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Slaughter Police Chief Dave Almond requested that the office investigate an altercation between Hobgood, 36, and Poche that took place in the parking lot of the Jett’s convenience store on LA 19.

“It was investigated and upon the conclusion of the investigation. Chief Greg Phares and the investigatory staff thought that there was enough evidence to do a probable cause warrant and book the officer," said Sheriff Jeff Travis.

The sheriff’s office goes on to say after speaking with witnesses and reviewing video footage of the encounter, Officer Hobgood was arrested and booked into the East Feliciana Parish Jail on a simple battery charge. Any disciplinary action as a result of the arrest will be handled internally by the Slaughter Police Department, the sheriff’s office says.

It is still unclear how everything went so south, but the sheriff says investigators did think the charges were appropriate after reviewing the video and what they saw at the scene.

“I’m not exactly sure how it got started. Investigators have looked at that and they have looked at the video and evidence and decided that a simple battery charge on the officer was warranted," Travis said. “It’s rather unfortunate that it did happen, but we take an oath to uphold the law and in this case, it’s unfortunate that it was an officer that we felt had broken the law, but we have to apply the laws equally and fairly there."

The brief video shows Officer Hobgood and Slaughter Fire Chief Billy Poche in each other’s faces. Not long after, it appears to show the officer throw the first punch. While Sheriff Travis calls the situation troubling, he says it’s important the officer be held accountable.

“It’s rather unfortunate that it did happen, but we take an oath to uphold the law and in this case it’s unfortunate that it was an officer that we felt had broken the law but we have to apply to laws equally and fairly there," Travis said.

The fire chief is not expected to face any charges at this time.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.