Aaron Jordan said he was on the run from the law. He apparently didn’t make it far before he decided to turn around.
The would-be leader of a proposed armed-citizens group to patrol the French Quarter was booked into Orleans Parish Prison late Wednesday night on one count of stalking, according to jail records.
Jordan surrendered to authorities at the jail a little before midnight, said Officer Hilal Williams, a New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman. Bail was not immediately set.
His arrest came the same day media reports revealed that Jordan, 37, of Metairie, was wanted on an outstanding warrant for the stalking charge related to harassing letters he allegedly sent to clients and employers of a relative of Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens.
Sens convicted Jordan of criminal trespassing in a 2009 incident that occurred in the 1100 block of Elysian Fields Avenue.
Jordan last week announced plans to form the French Quarter Minutemen, a group of private citizens with concealed-carry gun permits who would escort service-industry workers in the neighborhood to and from their vehicles.
He said he was motivated to take matters into his own hands by an attack on musician Doug Potter, who was brutally beaten by two men in February after playing a gig in the French Quarter.
Jordan met with officials in the NOPD’s 8th District, which patrols the French Quarter, on Tuesday to discuss his plans, but he was not arrested, despite a warrant for his arrest issued last week.
He reportedly agreed to surrender himself to 3rd District detectives in Gentilly, who were investigating the stalking claims, after the meeting with police in the Quarter, Williams said. However, while his attorney arrived at the 3rd District station, Jordan did not, Williams said.
A rattled Jordan said by phone Wednesday afternoon that he left town and was terrified of ending up in Parish Prison.
“The New Orleans police are threatening me over the phone,” he said.
Even if he had not wound up behind bars, Jordan’s idea of forming a vigilante militia apparently would not have received much support from NOPD brass.
“The NOPD is the only law enforcement agency with the authority to patrol the city, and our officers go through extensive firearms training before carrying a weapon,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in a prepared statement. “The best way for our residents and visitors to partner with the NOPD is to report crimes when they occur and to be willing to testify as a witness.”
According to court records, a warrant for Jordan’s arrest was issued May 30 on the stalking charge in relation to harassing letters he sent to a clients and employers of a Municipal Court employee who is a relative of Sens.
According to a relative of the alleged victim, Jordan had been contacting her since August, sending her harassing letters and also mailing disparaging rants about her to other people.
According to a police report filed May 30, the victim “stated that this ongoing harassment by Aaron Jordan has made her suffer emotional distress.”
Police wrote in the report that the victim feared Jordan would take some action against her and her family, leading to the warrant being issued.
It appears the 2009 trespassing case sparked Jordan’s ire against Sens and his family.
Prosecutors claimed at the time that Jordan had been harassing and following a taxi driver and former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office employee in the belief that the man’s son was wanted by the Secret Service.
During the trial, Jordan told prosecutors he previously worked as an informant for a Secret Service agent, though he said he was not paid for that information. He even subpoenaed the agent, though the subpoena was thrown out.
Sens found Jordan guilty and reprimanded him.
“You went out there yourself. Went on the property like you are some type of vigilante,” Sens said.
Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.
Editor’s note: This story was changed June 16, 2015, to reflect that the arrest warrant indicated that the municipal court employee stated that Jordan had been harassing her by sending letters to her employers and clients, rather than to her directly.