Shooting victim’s family questions police investigation
Demetriese Vallier, daughter of a man shot in Baldwin late last month, told the town’s board of aldermen Thursday she is not satisfied with the way the case has been handled by police.
Robert Hatcherson Jr., 30, of Railroad Avenue, is accused of shooting Ronald Vallier of Collins Street, twice with a handgun.
Demetriese Vallier said the shooting occurred after several confrontations with Hatcherson.
She said the family filed complaints with police and they were told a justice of the peace would have to issue an arrest warrant. Demetriese Vallier said by state statute officers should have handled the matter immediately.
After another alleged confrontation, the family was again directed to a justice of the peace for a protective order.
Demetriese Vallier said a Chez Hope employee coerced police into executing a protective order.
“To our knowledge no eye witnesses have been interviewed,” regarding the shooting, she said. “The accomplice, the shooter’s brother, has not been arrested.”
Demetriese Vallier said the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office offered to help with the investigation “and were either turned down or ignored by Baldwin police.”
She accused a “lack of quality of the law” on several occasions by Baldwin police. In one incident when the family filed a complaint for an alleged incident, she claimed police instead arrested her father on “old warrants for traffic citations. Nothing was done about his complaint.”
In another incident, Demetriese Vallier claimed she and her sister were attacked by a group of youngsters in the town park, and her mother was charged with an old bad check warrant, and no charges were filed against the alleged attackers.
“Why has Baldwin PD deemed my family unworthy of protection?” she asked the board of aldermen. “For too long Baldwin Police Department has been managed as the chief’s own person fiefdom.”
She said the family will be seeking redress legally and pursue having the sheriff’s department take over Baldwin law enforcement duties.
Chief Gerald Minor said in one of the earlier incidents, an officer found no physical signs of abuse and no cause for arrest. He said she was advised to go to the justice of the peace for a protective order and when the paperwork was completed the family member went to police headquarters to sign it the day before Ronald Vallier was shot.
Legal counsel Joseph Tabb cautioned the Valliers and the aldermen and police that an investigation is ongoing and that too much discussion might jeopardize the district attorney’s case.
Ronald Vallier told the board the family is most concerned that the driver of the vehicle that allegedly dropped off the shooter has not been arrested. “He waited for his brother and after (Hatcherson) shot me he got back into the car and they drove off,” he said.