BENTON, Louisiana – Citing what happened on Saturday while hiking in DeSoto Parish, the Bossier Parish Police jury voted this afternoon to seek a court order to prevent a similar event did happen this weekend in his parish.
Police jurors added the discussion to the agenda at the behest of Administrator Bill Altimus. They unanimously agreed to ask a judge from Bossier parish to issue the injunction. Parish lawyer Patrick Jackson intends to submit it to court Thursday morning.
Additionally, the police jury voted on Saturday to close Fullwood Road, which leads to the event site in Princeton, and only let in local traffic.
Two other upcoming hikes have been denied permits.
“We don’t want to see what happened last weekend in DeSoto Parish,” said Major Charles Gray of the Bossier Parish Sheriff.
The reference was in reference to the Big W Trail in Gran Cane which drew more than 7,000 people spread over the 20 acre event site and several miles down a public road in the small village of Gran Cane. One man was shot dead, another arrested after apparently firing a gun at a deputy, and residents of Gran Cane complained of property damage and trespassing by revelers.
DeSoto’s police jury on Tuesday refused to put a stop to any upcoming hikes while one of its committees considers a new clearance process. This committee will meet at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
In Bossier Parish, Altimus said the promoter of the Bossmane Riding Club Boots and Dukes ride was denied an event permit in April due to problems last year. One person was shot and a drunk driver who left the site “ended up killing someone,” he said.
Even with the denial, the organizer continued to promote the event on social media, claiming the parish had given its “blessing.”
Bossier Parish Sheriff Chief Duane Huddleston said multiple efforts had been made to contact the developer and owner to tell them they could not arrange the test ride.
“They are planning to have something,” Gray said, adding that the organizer no longer has any pre-sold bracelets.
Gray said there have been significant issues with other hikes in recent years due to the increase in the number of people. Thus, discussions are underway to modify the permit.
He pointed out that there were no issues with the real hikes. Instead, it’s the afters.
Altimus said the police jury has a committee that reviews event requests and reviews items such as sanitation and safety.
Huddleston said DeSoto Parish organized two hikes this year and shootings took place in both. A woman was killed while hiking in Baton Rouge.
“Trail rides, nobody has a problem with. This is not a hike, ”he said of the Bossmane Boots and Dukes. “It’s really an outdoor concert. This is what he becomes; this is where the problems arise.
For this reason, the Bossier Parish Permit Review Committee is considering a two permit process where one is issued for the trek and the other for the entertainment part.
In addition, the current order does not require insurance. So the question arises, said Huddleston, if someone is shot or killed, is it up to the police jury, the sheriff’s office, or the promoter.
In addition, the current license does not provide for a penalty in the event of an infringement. Hence the need for an injunction against the developer and the landowner, Huddleston said.
Police jury chairman Jerome Darby asked how MPs would prevent runners from parking on the roads around Fullwood if they are closed. Gray said enough MPs will be there to tell them the event is canceled and redirect traffic.