Matthew Wallis

Slidell police arrest teen for school threats

Slidell police arrested a 16-year-old male for making threats on social media to “shoot up” a high school, the Slidell Police Department said Saturday.

On Tuesday, police were made aware of online threats targeting Salmen High School, said Detective Daniel Seuzeneau. While social media posts indicated there would be a shooting at the school, investigators found the threats weren’t valid. All precautions were taken to ensure the safety of students and faculty, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said.

The threat resulted in hundreds of students leaving school early Tuesday and further interruptions throughout the week as police investigated.

“Regardless of whether or not this was a prank, it is being taken serious. The 16-year-old will now have to face felony charges,” Smith said. “I want this to be a strong message to everyone that we will not tolerate this type of behavior. You will get caught, and we will pursue severe criminal charges against you.”

The suspect’s name was not released because he is a juvenile. He is facing terrorizing charges and is being held in the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center.

Police said students were never in danger and the threats were a prank.

Ex-Belle Chasse man booked in child abuse

A 30-year-old former Belle Chasse resident has been booked on child sexual abuse charges, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie Greco said.

Matthew Todd Wallis, a resident of Ogden, Utah, is believed to have committed sexual crimes including oral sexual battery in 1999 and 2000 when he lived in the 100 block of Brentwood Drive in Belle Chasse, Greco said.

Investigators with the Plaquemines Sheriff’s Office’s Sex Crimes Unit began investigating in May following allegations that Wallis abused a victim who was only 4 or 5 years old at the time, officials said. He allegedly touched her on her genital area and made her touch him inappropriately as well.

Detectives discovered that Wallis allegedly videotaped at least one of the sexual acts, Cmdr. Eric Becnel said. He said Wallis’ parents admitted they burned the videotape in order to destroy evidence.

A second victim allegedly spoke with the bishop of Wallis’ church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Harvey, the Sheriff’s Office said. Officials believe Wallis subsequently spoke with the bishop about the alleged crime and possibly “confessed his sins,” according to Becnel. That bishop is believed to be deceased.

Wallis was arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Aug. 13 and booked into the Davis County Jail pending extradition, Becnel said. On Monday, he was extradited to Plaquemines Parish and booked into the Belle Chasse Lockup. He posted a $100,000 bond and was released from custody after a hearing on Wednesday, according to the report.

The Plaquemines Sheriff’s Office believes there might be additional victims other than those who have already come forward. Tips can be called in to Detective Aaron Verrette at (504) 564-5277 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Gentilly shooting leaves one dead, one wounded

A shooting in the 5300 block of Charlotte Drive in Gentilly left one man dead and another hospitalized Friday evening, New Orleans police said.

One of the victims, a 24-year-old passenger in a white Volvo sedan, was found dead inside the vehicle about 7 p.m., according to Officer Garry Flot.

The other victim, the 34-year-old driver, was found two blocks away suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital.

Homicide Detective Nicholas Williams is in charge of the investigation.

Two men reported cut in Jefferson Parish

A man was cut in the 600 block of Central Avenue in Jefferson Parish about 5 p.m. Saturday, according to Jefferson Parish 911 headquarters.

The Sheriff’s Office said the wound was not life-threatening, and a suspect was arrested.

About 7 p.m. Friday, another man suffered a cutting in the 4100 block of Ames Boulevard in Marrero. His wounds also were not life-threatening.

No further information was made available.

Driver robbed in Garden District

A 24-year-old man was mugged at gunpoint in the Garden District as he was getting out of his car in the 3100 block of Camp Street on Friday night, New Orleans police said.

The victim was leaving his car about 11:30 p.m. when he saw a man he didn’t know walking toward him, according to Officer Garry Flot.

The man produced a handgun and demanded the victim’s belongings. He fled after the victim complied, Flot said.

St. Roch resident robbed while working on house

A 61-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint while he was working on his house in the St. Roch neighborhood, according to New Orleans police.

The victim told police he was working in the 2500 block of Music Street about 3 p.m. when an armed man approached him and demanded his wallet.

The victim complied.

Police seek suspect in armed robbery

New Orleans police are looking for a man wanted for robbing a victim who was doing renovation work inside his house in the 1800 block of Industry Street.

The suspect is described as a black male, around 5-feet-11 and 230 pounds. He was wearing a white short-sleeve T-shirt, light blue jeans and a white towel or scarf wrapped around his head, police said.

The suspect entered the residence at about 3 p.m. Friday asking the victim for work, according to police.

When the victim said he wasn’t hiring, the suspect pulled out a handgun and demanded his wallet. The victim handed over the wallet and the suspect fled.