Gonzales PD sued in Iberville high-speed crash

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

GONZALES – The City of Gonzales and Police Officer Brent Amy were sued in the 18th Judicial District Court by a Gonzales couple seeking damages from a Dec. 18 high-speed police chase that left two people dead in Iberville Parish.

Warren Porta III and his wife brought forth the lawsuit over injuries Porta received at the conclusion of the pursuit of a man and woman suspected of shoplifting at Tanger Outlet Center in Gonzales.

The officer chased suspects Kevdrinka T. Williams, 25, of Baton Rouge, and Tremaine R. Wickem, 20, of New Orleans, at high speeds on La. 30 until the fleeing vehicle attempted to pass several other vehicles on the shoulder of the highway near La. 74 in St. Gabriel, went out of control and collided with Porta's truck.

Amy had detained and questioned Williams and Wickem at Tanger Mall on allegations of shoplifting at several stores before the chase began, the suit says.

Porta's attorneys accuse Amy and the Gonzales Police Department of negligence and disregard for the safety of others for initiating the chase.

The suit says the Police Department should have intervened and called off the chase because during 2012, the department had engaged in "multiple high-speed police chases that resulted in the destruction of property and death of human life."

The suit claims Porta has suffered from physical pain, disfigurement, mental anguish and a loss in wages because of the wreck. Porta's wife, Nicole Porta, asks the court for compensation for the inconvenience she has suffered as well due to her husband's injuries.