Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Lafayette man for allegedly operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and other violations on the Vermilion River in Lafayette Parish on Sept. 20.
Agents arrested Benjamin J. Pooler III, 46, for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and three counts of aggravated assault and booked him into the Lafayette Parish Jail.
Agents were notified around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 about a man operating a vessel while intoxicated near Southside Park. The complaint came from three people kayaking in the river whom claimed that the operator of a white cigarette boat appeared to try and run them over and was traveling at a high rate of speed in a no wake zone. The kayakers said the operator of the vessel circled them multiple times eventually swamping one kayak before they were able to call 911.
When agents arrived on scene they received another tip about the same white cigarette boat operating a boat in a reckless manner and that the vessel was stopped on the bank of the river appearing to have struck a tree.
Agents observed Pooler III on the Vermilion River operating a vessel that matched the description just south of Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Agents made contact with Pooler III and after doing a field sobriety test arrested him for DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and aggravated assault.
Agents noted that Pooler III’s vessel had green leaves inside and that tree limbs were stuck to the side of the vessel indicating he hit a tree somewhere on the river.
DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Aggravated assault brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Agents participating in this case are Sgt. Ryan Faul and Senior Agent Thomas Ashley.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.