Manhunt continues for suspect accused of jumping off bridge, fleeing police

Manhunt continues for suspect accused of jumping off bridge, fleeing police

PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) - Facing 18 felony charges, the wife of 24-year-old Arterrion C. Robertson is defending her husband.

"Whatever happened, it happened. That's my husband and he's not the type of person to do anything like that. Something else brought that on. It wasn't just him by himself. It was something," said Vernishia Thomas-Robertson, Robertson's wife.

New details reveal the events leading up to the police chase and manhunt.

Investigators say it all started Friday night when the Robertsons got into a fight at his Baton Rouge apartment.

"which subsequently led to him punching her in the face several times. She had mace in her purse, maced him to get away," said Asst. Chief Kenny Payne of the Plaquemine Police Dept.

Vernishia then went to her grandmother's house in Plaquemine.

Police say Robertson followed here there, breaking into the home and spraying Vernishia with mace in front of 13 family members, a lot of them small children.

A witness 9News spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous, saw Robertson outside when he then grabbed a handgun from Vernishia's car.

"He stood in the middle of the road and just let the gun go off in the air. He didn't shoot at the house. And then he pulled off. It was scary," said the witness.

After he fired five times, Vernishia called 911. Police say a sheriff's lieutenant spotted Robertson but he didn't pull over. He didn't stop until he crashed 12 miles up Hwy. 1 at the Intracoastal Bridge.

"He jumped over the side, about 20 to 30 feet off the ground. He landed in the grass, running underneath the intracoastal, toward a wooded area," said Asst. Chief Payne.

Police dogs were brought-in, but search efforts were called-off early Saturday morning when rain caused the dogs to lose Robertson's scent. No boots have been on the ground since.

If you have any information where Robertson may be, call Plaquemine Police at 225-687-9273.

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