Charges Grow Out of Confrontation

Sheriff Jayson Richardson would like to update the public regarding a viral video that was recorded in DeSoto Parish depicting two semi-truck drivers on I-49.  We would like to give a timeline, what our office has done, and a bit of advice to the public.  At approximately 8am on Wednesday, March 29th, it was brought to our attention that a video had gone viral on Facebook showing two semi-truck drivers involved in what appeared to be a road-rage incident.  The video in question had been uploaded the previous Tuesday evening, March 28th.  We immediately made contact with dispatch and determined that no calls were received regarding this incident the prior evening.  By 9:30am on Wednesday, (1.5 hours after being notified) investigators had already identified both drivers and made one arrest.  Omar Berrios Martinez (44 year old Hispanic Male) was arrested and charged with Reckless Operation with No Accident, and Aggravated Obstruction of a Highway (Felony). He was transported to the DeSoto Detention Center and booked, and his semi-truck was towed (see picture).  Contact has also now been made with the driver of the other semi-truck from the video.  At the time of this post, the driver is being cooperative with law enforcement, and headed back to our area to turn himself in.  Matters as to why the incident took place remain under investigation.

The video itself greatly assisted in the identification of these drivers.  We also appreciate the many residents online who have shown support and faith in our ability to identify, locate, and make an arrest on these individuals.  It is concerning, however, that our office did not receive any calls regarding the incident at the time it was taking place.  A deputy may not be at the scene of such a random incident, but they can usually respond within mere seconds.  Instead, our office was repeatedly tagged in comments and posts of the video after office hours and well into the night.  Edited to note:  One citizen did reach out to Sheriff Richardson directly shortly after the incident had taken place.  Sheriff Richardson immediately contacted dispatchers, and it was at that time it was realized that no calls had been received.

We just want to remind the public that our social media is monitored by one person and is not usually monitored after office hours or on weekends.  Facebook/Messenger should never be used as a middleman to inform our office or to report a crime.  To do that, you should always call our office to speak with a dispatcher or dial 911 in the event of an emergency.  Facebook is a third party application that does not consistently, nor efficiently, notify us when we receive a new message, tag, comment, etc.  When time is of the essence in saving lives, we cannot rely or depend on social media to take its time in notifying us of a message.  So please, be sure that you are reporting crimes through the proper channels to ensure a swift and efficient response.

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