Baker police investigating possible theft involving city councilman

Baker police investigating possible theft involving city councilman

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps confirmed to 9News Tuesday that his department is investigating a possible theft involving Baker Councilman John Givens.

Abdallah Ragusa showed in-store surveillance video of Givens eating what he says is a banana cream pie at Ragusa's Meat Market on Groom Road. Ragusa adds the video captured Tuesday shows Givens putting the empty wrapper in his front pocket. Ragusa says Givens made no mention of the pie when he stepped up the counter to pay for several other items.

“He did not address anything and he did not tell me that he ate a pie or that I have a wrapper in my pocket that I would like to pay for. No he did not say that,” said Ragusa.

Ragusa says he asked Givens if he was going to pay for the pie he had eaten in the store. He adds Givens became upset pulling out his councilman badge and saying you must not know who I am.

“After that he saw that I called the police. He said please let me pay for this and that's when I refused. I told him I don't take any money for anything you try to steal. You can have it, but I’m not going to charge you for it,” said Ragusa.

9News spoke to Givens by phone and while he declined our request for an on-camera interview, he did say he pulled out his badge to ask why he would steal as a councilman and that the incident is being blown out of proportion.

Baker Mayor Harold Rideau says he saw the video of the incident, but adds the case is now in the hands of the Baker Police Department and he will let the judicial system run its course.

“As the mayor I really don't know enough about it to really comment on it. I know there is an investigation and will probably be ongoing,” said Rideau.

“A person like that should be a role model for kids and role model for any person who is younger than him,” said Ragusa. “We're very disappointed.”

No charges have been filed against Givens.

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