OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – The Opelousas board of alderman have rejected the resignation of Opelousas Police officer Tyron Andrepont, and are now in the process of seeking his termination.
Sgt. Andrepont was arrested in June on five counts of malfeasance in office. State police say video footage showed Andrepont hitting Jonah Coleman multiple times and even putting Coleman in a chokehold.
He was on paid administrative leave since last November, but the paid leave ended tonight. According to Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon, Andrepont is not getting paid anymore by OPD, but he also has not been terminated yet.
Chief McLendon will request a disciplinary hearing where the aldermen will decide if Andrepont is terminated. The sergeant has a first chance to appeal to the Fire and Police Civil Service Board, then a second chance with the district court judges.
City attorney Travis Broussard explained, “If everyone’s not moving with all due haste, it’s something that could go on for several months. If there’s no appeal, there could be finality right then and there.”
Chief McLendon said termination is a better choice than resignation even if it does take longer
“After his (Andrepont’s) resignation letter, he could have easily applied with another agency,” McLendon explained. “There a lot of agencies that hire people who leave a department and never call for a reference.”
Mclendon couldn’t let that happen. He initiated the report on Andrepont in November after viewing surveillance of what the Sergeant did to Jonah Coleman.
“When I saw that video, I saw my son in that video. I saw your brother in that video because it could happen to anybody, and that should have never happened,” admitted the chief.
McLendon said his department should have never been called to Opelousas General and the situation would have been better handled by a social worker, but he also argued all of his officers are called to a higher standard.
“We arrest people every day, but we don’t have to make them like an animal, or treat them or abuse them as if they were an animal,” said McLendon.
The surveillance video is something McLendon said he wishes everyone could see because he is convinced the aldermen will grant his request to terminate Andrepont.
“This man should never wear a badge ever again,” McLendon stated.
He hopes for the family’s closure Andrepont’s termination happens soon, and the Opelousas governing authority agrees.
“This will not wait until next month,” promised Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor. “We will expedite this process.”
Sergeant Andrepont can waive his right to be heard at the disciplinary hearing. He could also waive his rights to appeal.