West Monroe man arrested after police find him wearing body armor, illegally carrying AR-15 style rifle in vehicle

Crime

WEST MONROE, La. — A West Monroe man was arrested early Wednesday morning after police found him wearing body armor and carrying an AR-15 style rifle in his vehicle.

According to arrest reports for 46-year-old Stewart Hayes, a West Monroe Police Officer was called to the West Monroe Corrections Center in reference to a suspicious person.

A corrections officer saw a white truck parked in a no-parking area. The corrections officer talked to the driver, later identified as Hayes, and that officer says that Hayes got angry and left the area. The corrections officer told WMPD that Hayes appeared to be wearing body armor.

WMPD spotted Hayes parked in the 3000 block of North 7th Street when Hayes began flashing his vehicle lights and waving at the officer to stop.

The officer noted that Hayes was still wearing the body armor, but removed it during the interaction. Another officer on the scene saw that Hayes was carrying an AR-15 style rifle in the floorboard of the vehicle also.

According to Hayes, he was wearing the body armor because he was being harassed by someone from south Louisiana and he was carrying the rifle to protect himself.

When one of the officers inspected the gun, he found one round in the chamber and the safety off.

A background search revealed that Hayes was convicted on charges of possession of methamphetamine in 2015 and 2018.

Hayes told police that he knew he was not supposed to have the rifle or the body armor, but not say anything else.

Hayes was booked into the Ouachita Correctional Center on charges of Unlawful Use or Possession of Body Armor and Possession of Firearm by Felon.

His bond has not been set at this time.

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