OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — Opelousas Police chased and apprehended a suspect who jumped from a moving vehicle Tuesday during an attempted traffic stop.

Police Chief Martin McLendon said it happened around 4 p.m. near the intersection of Union and Dunbar Streets.

He said as the officer initiated a traffic stop in reference to a red-light violation, a male suspect exited the vehicle and began running with what the officer could clearly identify as an AR-15 style rifle.

The officer abandoned the traffic stop and began to pursue the suspect running with the rifle, McLendon said.

He said the officer requested assistance and all available OPD units converged on the area.

During a search, he said, a concerned citizen called to report a suspicious male knocking at their residence.

The caller gave a description of the suspicious person allowing officers to quickly make contact with a suspect fitting the description in the area.

He said officers made contact with a 17-year-old male who was found to be illegally carrying a concealed handgun.

That juvenile was taken into custody, McLendon said.

He said as officers continued to thoroughly search the area, they located the suspect who had fled with the rifle hiding near a residence in the 200 Blk. of White St.

Richard Hatfield Jr., 24 had been released on parole in May, 2022 after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hatfield will again be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and resisting an officer, McLendon said.

The 17-year-old, he said, was charged and referred to the juvenile court.