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Posted: 2/26/2002 5:12:08 PM EDT
This past hunting season, one of our brother agents came face to face with the most terrifying incident that could ever happen to a law enforcement officer. Senior Agent Chad Hebert was violently attacked while on patrol in Lafourche Parish. Chad was on his way to southern Lafourche Parish to work night hunters on Cloverly, an old sugar cane plantation located along Hwy 308. Chad had made radio contact with another Lafourche Parish Agent, Ted Dewitt. Ted was already on Cloverly Plantation set up on an oil tank over-looking the cane fields. As he was talking to Chad on the radio, Ted observed a car driving through the cane field, pass his position and park down a headland in the field. Ted watched the vehicle for a little while, but decided that they must be lovers because he didn't see any lights or movement from the vehicle. A few minutes later Chad entered the cane field and came in without any lights so as not to spook any potential outlaws who might be in the area. Chad drove down the cane roads and somehow passed Ted without either agent seeing the other. Chad knew Ted was in the area because they had made contact with each other. At this point Chad noticed the reflection of a set of tailights from the vehicle that had passed Ted earlier. Chad thought that he was pulling up on Ted parked in the cane field listening for gunshots. As he got closer, he realized that this was not Ted, but another vehicle. At that point, Chad thought that whoever was in this vehicle must have seen him by now, so he turned on his headlights and his emergency blue lights. As he pulled up to the vehicle, Chad saw a person lying next to the passenger side door. Chad's first thought was that he had stumbled upon a suicide. This was about the same area that other agents had found a suicide victim the previous year. Chad quickly got on the radio and called Ted who was just a few hundred yards away. Chad told Ted that he needed to head his way because he had just found a body. Chad then put his microphone back in the hook and looked up to see a person getting out of the drivers side of the vehicle. He then gave a loud verbal command for this person to get back in his vehicle. The subject did not respond. Chad again gave the command, "Get back in your vehicle!" Again, no response. The subject then raised a .357 caliber revolver and fired at Chad. Chad saw the subject raise the gun and ducked behind his dashboard. He then drew his weapon and returned fire. As the two exchanged gun fire, the subject began walking forward from the rear of his vehicle toward Chad's truck. Chad continued firing his weapon and crawled through the cab of his truck trying to get some distance between himself and the assailant. As he was crawling through the cab, Chad continued firing his weapon. As he exited the passenger side, Ted was pulling up to the scene. Chad saw Ted's truck and circled around in the dark toward it. Ted observed Chad exit the truck, as he got closer he noticed that Chad was bleeding profusely from wounds he had received in his face and arm. Chad had been struck by bullet fragments when one of the attackers’ bullets had hit the door frame of Chad's truck and splintered. Ted then left Chad at his truck and went to find the attacker. Ted found him lying there dead, about 3 feet from Chad's driver side door.
Link Posted: 2/26/2002 5:14:53 PM EDT
The subject that attacked Chad was not in this cane field to night hunt or to commit any wildlife crime. He was there specifically to commit murder. He and the other dead subject had a falling out over a drug deal. He planned the killing and wanted to do it in a place where he would not encounter a Sheriff'’s Deputy or a State Trooper. He wanted an out of the way location. The type of location where we as Game Wardens patrol. Talking to Chad about this incident, he passes on his experience to make sure that every agent knows that just because a person is in the woods or marshes doesn't mean they are there to hunt or fish. In the world that we live in today, drug related crime is everywhere and we should maintain a constant vigil against such crime. Today's wildlife outlaw may not be just stealing crabs or shrimping illegally or selling dear meat for pure profit, but may be doing it to support a drug habit. In other words don't be complacent, be alert and survive. Chad Hebert survived this incident. He claims that he owes it all to the training that he received. Not only has Chad physically survived, but he has emotionally and mentally survived. Chad returned to work one week after this incident. An investigation by the Louisiana State Police and the Lafourche Parish District Attorney’s office ruled this incident as a justifiable use of deadly force. Chad Hebert continues to work in the Lafourche Parish area. He also is a firearms and defensive tactics instructor.
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