Police dog apprehends robbery suspect _lowres

Stephen Lavergne

A man suspected of robbing cash and other items from an Opelousas convenience store refused police orders to surrender until a police dog named Zig sank his teeth into the suspect’s left leg and persuaded him to emerge from under a portable building.

Stephen Joseph Lavergne, 32, of Lake Charles, was booked into the city jail on counts of felony theft and resisting an officer in the 1 a.m. Sunday incident, Opelousas Police Chief Perry Gallow said.

Joseph is suspected of taking money and video poker cash tickets from a register on the Creswell Lane convenience store, climbing a nearby fence in a getaway attempt, then hiding from police under a portable building.

“The K-9 officer then gave several commands for the individual to come out or he was deploy the K-9,” Gallow said in a news release.

“The individual refused and Zig was sent under to apprehend the suspect,” he said. “Seconds later the suspect … came out escorted by Zig.”

Joseph was treated at Opelousas General Hospital for a wound on his left leg, then released. He was scheduled to appear before a magistrate Monday morning, Gallow said.

Police located $1,043 in cash that was taken from the register and also $605 in video poker tickets and returned it to the store.