A Metairie woman who led police on a chase and then attempted to bite a deputy in the early morning hours of March 8, 2018 faces charges, despite assertions from her lawyer that she needs mental help instead.
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The incident began at 2 am, when 47-year-old Deborah Jackson’s husband sent deputies to her home in fear that she was suffering from a psychotic episode. Jackson loaded her three children, ages 4, 6 and 13, into her vehicle and fled prior to the deputies’ arrival at her home.
Deputies chased her and got close, at which point Jackson attempted to bite one deputy. She then took off again, and deputies halted the chase so as to minimize the risk for her young children. At some point, police received a report that the 4 and 6-year-old were taken to the hospital and Jackson and the 13-year-old were still on the move.
Jackson was found near Jefferson Highway and Riverdale Drive, where she drove her vehicle into two deputies’ police vehicles before they managed to box her in and stop her. The 13-year-old was not harmed. Jackson and the police deputies involved in the capture all escaped injury as well.
While the two younger children were taken to a hospital for evaluation after it was discovered Jackson told the 6-year-old to throw the 4-year-old out of the vehicle and then to jump out themselves, the children were found to be in good health.
Jackson is charged with cruelty to a juvenile, child desertion, aggravated flight from an officer, battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and aggravated criminal damage to property.
Jackson’s attorney cited her case as a strong example of why mental health treatment in Louisiana should be a higher priority and those with mental illness should be given help instead of charged for their behavior. The attorney did not specify what mental illness Jackson suffers from, nor did he disclose the location of the children after their mother’s arrest. She remains in jail.
The attorney, Stavros Panagoulopoulos did give credit to the police for their effective handling of the situation and the prevention of a potential tragedy. However, he maintained his opinion that, rather than charges, the police department should provide resources to help Jackson through her difficult time.
A date and time for Jackson’s arraignment has not been released. Her vehicle sustained significant damage when it struck the deputies’ vehicles and will require repair.
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