Work release inmate back in custody; second arrest made for assisting his escape

Cletis Viet Vu

Michele Peters

Staff Report

A 31-year-old Amelia man, who was a St. Mary Parish work release inmate, was arrested Thursday after he left his job Wednesday and was eventually found at a casino in New Orleans, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert said in a news release.
—Cletis Viet Vu, 31, of the 2400 block of Lake Palourde Road in Amelia, was arrested on a warrant for simple escape. He was jailed at the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center in Centerville.
Detectives also identified a woman who aided Vu in leaving the Amelia area, Hebert said.
—Michele Peters, 48, of the 100 block of Mia Drive in Gray, was arrested on a warrant for assisting escape. Peters admitted to picking up Vu in the Amelia area and taking him to New Orleans, Hebert said.
At about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office received a tip that a work release inmate may be planning to leave his job. Deputies responded to the inmate’s place of employment on Degravelle Road in Amelia where it was learned that Vu walked off the job.
The sheriff’s office immediately began a search of the area, issued an advisory to neighboring law enforcement agencies, and interviewed Vu’s known contacts.
Louisiana State Police assisted in the search efforts. Detectives learned through interviews that Vu was at a casino in the downtown New Orleans area.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives contacted Louisiana State Police who located Vu and took him into custody without incident, Hebert said.

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