Man produces gun during alleged shoplifting

A Ruston man was arrested last week after he allegedly produced a pistol during a shoplifting incident.

Ruston police officers were dispatched to the USA Travel Plaza on La. Highway 33 about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. The clerk told officers he saw Ladevin Patterson, 30, conceal merchandise in his pocket before leaving the store without paying. The clerk followed Patterson outside and told him to return the merchandise or he would be forced to call police.

Patterson went inside the store and argued he had not stolen any merchandise. When the clerk asked what was in his pocket, Patterson allegedly removed a pistol and made a threatening comment. Clark said Patterson did not point the gun at him, but he believe Patterson intended to use it and he feared for his life.

Patterson admitted to officers he had the firearm concealed on his person and removed it to show the clerk and then placed it inside his vehicle before police arrived.

A search of the vehicle produced a 9 mm pistol, a digital scale, a concealment device containing marijuana, and numerous empty bags consistent with the sale of narcotics.

A small amount of marijuana was found in Patterson’s pocket, and he admitted to selling marijuana and being aware he was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Patterson was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of a firearm by convicted felon, illegal carrying of concealed weapon, illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, aggravated assault with a firearm, and theft by shoplifting.

A hold was placed on Patterson by the La. Department of Corrections for probation violation.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.