PORT SULPHUR, La. (AP) — A 50-year-old Port Sulphur man has been booked with attempted murder after allegedly attacking a fisheries agent who tried to make him stop harvesting oysters in a polluted area, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Wednesday.
State police, Plaquemines Parish sheriff's deputies and wildlife agents arrested Jonathan K. Ragas on Tuesday at his home, Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement spokesman Adam Einck said.
Ragas remained in jail Wednesday; a deputy said his bond had not yet been set. It was not clear whether he had an attorney.
Einck said Ragas allegedly became violent — at one point brandishing a hatchet — when the agent and a deputy tried to board his boat on March 20.
It was the sixth time agents have cited Ragas for taking oysters from an unapproved area and the third time he's been accused of assaulting a Wildlife and Fisheries agent, Einck said.
He said Ragas was booked with attempted first-degree murder of a wildlife and fisheries agent, aggravated assault against the agent, resisting an officer, public intimidation and taking oysters from a polluted area.
If convicted of attempted murder, Ragas could be sentenced to life at hard labor. Maximum penalties on the other counts range from a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for taking oysters from an unapproved area to a $1,000 fine and five years in jail for public intimidation.