HAMMOND, LA—A prisoner who escaped near Hammond is back behind bars. But some in the city have been unnerved for the past several days.
Sedric Smith broke free a little over a week ago along Interstate 55 near Hammond and disappeared near Club Deluxe Road. He was being transported to Catahoula Parish when he made his getaway. Now the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office says the 33 year old turned himself in, to U.S. Marshals. Hammond neighbors are extremely relieved.
“Oh thank God, because I was worried about that because we were back there trying to make sure there was no where somebody could hide in the back, because it is really high grass and trees and the interstate is right there, so anybody could come out of there so no one would know,” said Hammond resident Jerryleigh Galiano Garcia.
Dorothy Prine and her family has been on edge for days. A lot of houses back up to the interstate, only separated by trees, if that.
“I was so scared to answer the door afraid that it might be him,” Prine said.
Smith's escape has been the talk of neighbors, speculating whether he acted alone. Some say they didn't think he'd stick around anyway. He didn't.
Meanwhile Tangipahoa Parish has been the focus of other wanted suspects. Louis Triche, a sexual assault suspect wanted out of Oklahoma City is believed to be hiding possibly in Ponchatoula. And Pensacola police have made an arrest in Hammond for the murder of a toddler. They're looking for another suspect in Louisiana.
And people are talking about crime and Hammond. People believe crime may be coming to Hammond because of its proximity to all these highways.
“It's a criss cross, you know, you take I-12 and 55, it's an escape route. You can go from I-55 and I-12 you can go all directions, you can go north east west and south,” said Hammond resident LeRoy Trepagnier.
Neighbors say they're just glad Smith's direction is back to jail.
Smith faces additional charges of aggravated escape and second degree battery on a police officer, on top of the armed robbery charges he already had.