I-TEAM: Bond set for suspect arrested after chase left two BRPD helicopter officers dead
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office confirms they have arrested a suspect who was involved in a chase early Sunday, March 26, 2023.
Deandre Bessye was booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail on a number of charges, including two counts of manslaughter, one count of aggravated flight from an officer, and one count of obstruction of a highway of commerce.
Officials with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office said bond for Bessye has been set at $950,000.
The chase was started in Baton Rouge and involved an air mission through the Baton Rouge Police Department. The officers on board the helicopter that was chasing the suspect died after the aircraft went down around 3 a.m. Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a preliminary report Monday that states the “aircraft tail rotor struck a tree and crashed inverted in a field.”
Late Monday afternoon the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office released the following timeline:
“On Sunday, March 26, 2023, at approximately 2:27 a.m. Baton Rouge Police Department was in pursuit of a 2014 Ford Mustang that had crossed into West Baton Rouge Parish on I-10. The driver later identified as Deandre Dwayne Bessye exited I-10 onto LA 415 northbound. Bessye continued fleeing Baton Rouge P.D. with reported speeds at or near 135 MPH. At approximately 2:35 A.M. the pursuit was terminated near the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 190 and Bueche Road by Baton Rouge P.D.
West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office was not in pursuit of this vehicle but was responding to the area at the time the pursuit was terminated by Baton Rouge P.D.
At approximately 3:14 a.m. West Baton Rouge S.O. was dispatched to a residence on Poydras Bayou Drive in reference to a reported abandoned vehicle. The vehicle was later confirmed to be the 2014 Ford Mustang that had fled BRPD earlier that night. The driver Deandre Dwayne Bessye contacted the property owner and asked if he could get a ride to a nearby gas station because his car ran out of gas. After getting dropped off by the property owner, Bessye phoned a friend in Baton Rouge who picked him up and brought him to his residence in Baton Rouge.
At approximately 10:48 a.m., West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office received a call from one of the officer’s family members who requested us to respond to a rural area between North Winterville Road and Bueche Road. Upon searching this area, deputies located a Baton Rouge Police Department Helicopter that had crashed. Unfortunately, both officers sustain fatal injuries. Soon after discovering the crash, Baton Rouge Police Department was notified as well as Baton Rouge Metro Airport Traffic Control.”
RELATED: FAA releases preliminary cause of BRPD chopper crash
The helicopter went down early in the morning but the wreckage was not discovered for several hours later. The question remains over how the crash went unnoticed for so long. The WAFB I-TEAM checked with the airport learned most flight missions are done at low altitude. Most of the time, flights will check in with the control tower at take-off and upon return but the tower is normally closed between midnight and 5 a.m. so there were no check-ins with the tower from the BRPD helicopter during this mission.
RELATED: Two BRPD officers die in chopper crash
Late Monday afternoon, the Baton Rouge Police Department released the names of the officers killed. They’ve been identified as Corporal Scotty Canezaro and Sergeant David Poirrier.
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