KENNER, LA (WVUE) - The man accused of two attempted kidnappings is in custody, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
Joseph Picard was arrested Friday morning in Kenner.
Kenner Police are also investigating a previous attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old woman that happened Thursday on Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
Thursday night officers responded to a call of a suspicious white male at Mike Miley Playground in Metairie. The juvenile victims reported that they were approached by a man who asked them if they wanted to do work for him for $100.
The victims notified an adult, who then called 911 with a physical description of the man and his vehicle.
Police located the man at the playground. He was identified as Joseph Picard, 40, of Metairie. He was driving a silver-colored BMW X3 SUV with a Louisiana license plate YPZ945.
Picard was released after questioning.
Shortly thereafter, around 8:19 p.m., police responded to the 2200 block of Judith Drive in Metairie for the report of an attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl.
The girl told police she was in the 2200 block of Judith Drive talking to a friend on her cell phone when she was approached by an unknown white male suspect she described as being five feet eight to five feet nine inches tall, weighing 130 to 150 pounds with brown hair and tattoos on his arms and neck.
When the suspect approached the girl he asked if she had seen a little girl named "Angie." The victim told the suspect no, but he continued to describe who he was looking for, as the victim began to walk away. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm in an attempt to gain control of her.
The victim told investigators the suspect held something to her neck and ordered her to get into his truck.
The victim was able to pull away from the suspect and flee toward West Napoleon Avenue. The suspect chased her for a short distance, still yelling at her to get in the truck. The girl told police the suspect stopped chasing her and fled in a silver/gray SUV-type vehicle.
Based on the description of the suspect, along with the type of vehicle described by the victim, investigators are confident the suspect is Picard.
A photograph of Picard was shown to the victim, who then positively identified him as the man who grabbed her by the arm and tried to abduct her.
Shortly after the incident on Judith Drive, around 8:45 p.m., another attempted kidnapping was reported in the area of Jade Street and Buras Drive in Metairie. During this incident, a 28-year-old woman reported being approached by a white male who grabbed her from behind and placed what she believed was a knife to her neck.
The victim told investigators she immediately fell to the ground in a fetal position and began screaming and fighting with the suspect. She sustained minor injuries but was able to free herself from the suspect, who then fled on foot.
She told investigators approximately 10 minutes after the incident, she saw a gray/silver SUV occupied by the same suspect who tried to abduct her circling near her residence.
The victim positively identified Picard as her assailant after investigators showed her a photo.
Picard has a criminal history with arrests for four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, nine counts of simple burglary, illegal possession of crack cocaine, illegal use of a firearm, illegal possession of narcotics and a parole violation.