47-year-old arrested in May 17 rape

Baton Rouge Police arrested a 47-year-old man Friday and accused him of raping a woman after picking her up in his car to smoke crack cocaine in the spring.

Howard Gross picked up the woman on 17th Street on May 17, according to the affidavit of probable cause. After they drove to the 1800 block of Missouri Street and finished smoking crack, he asked to have sex.

When the woman declined, he choked her and punched her in the face before raping her, the affidavit says.

Gross, 1716 N. 25th St., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on counts of forcible rape and sexual battery.

Two wounded in Thursday shootings

Baton Rouge Police said two men were injured in unrelated shootings Thursday night.

The first shooting occurred about 6:45 p.m., when a 21-year-old man was standing outside in the 2600 block of Greenwell Street and another man came up to him and began firing, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman.

As the victim ran away, he was shot in the torso. His injuries are not life-threatening, McKneely said.

The second shooting occurred after 11 p.m. when a 33-year-old man, who was standing outside in the 3800 block of Plank Road, was approached by a man who shot him in the stomach as he tried to run away, McKneely said.

That wounded man was taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Police did not have suspects or motives in either shooting, McKneely said.

Oliphant Road home destroyed by fire

An Oliphant Road home was likely a total loss after a fire consumed the living room, kitchen and garage Friday afternoon, causing about $200,000 in damage, the St. George Fire Department reported.

Firefighters arrived shortly after noon Friday and saw smoke emerging from the roof vents of the home at 10158 Oliphant Road, said Eldon Ledoux, a Fire Department spokesman. Though firefighters extinguished the blaze within 15 minutes, the entire house was damaged by heavy smoke.

It was not yet clear what caused the fire.

A family of three lived in the home, but only one woman was in the home at the time of the fire, and she was not injured, Ledoux said.

The Red Cross and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office also arrived to assist the family.

Five accused of driving while intoxicated

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 p.m. Friday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Jessica Cazes, 30, 6675 Woodside Drive, Zachary, first-offense DWI, improper lane use, reckless operation, driver’s license suspended or revoked.
  • Alejandro Cisneros, 29, 3418 Southlake Ave., Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI.
  • Dakota Coburn, 21, 8624 Old Tunica Road, St. Francisville, first-offense DWI, speeding and reckless operation.
  • Floyd Ford, 23, 8408 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, first-offense DWI and turning violation.
  • George Kendrick, 35, 22 Main St., Bartlett, Kansas, first-offense DWI, reckless operation and failure to yield.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.