Now-retired police captain, wife arrested in connection with New - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Now-retired police captain, wife arrested in connection with New Year's Eve video

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A now-retired police captain and and his wife have been booked in connection with a video showing the two physically arguing at a bar. 

Dwayne Prejean, a longtime Lafayette police officer who retired after the video surfaced, was booked on a count of domestic abuse battery. Bond is set at $2,500.

Allyson Prejean, a longtime Lafayette attorney, was booked on a count of aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon. Bond is set at $500.

They were arrested on warrants issued after an investigation, police say. 

Allyson Prejean's law partner, Barry Salinger, released the following statement: 

"The video, which is the sole basis for the arrest, does not reflect Allyson at her finest hour.  It depicts a moment in time that shows her reaction to a long history of sadness and marital strife.  The video does not define who Allyson really is.  She is a dedicated mother, a relentless advocate and a dear friend of twenty years. Like many of us, she has made mistakes in life.  With the support of family, friends and colleagues in the legal community, she has found the strength to move on and get the help she needs to put this sad chapter behind her."

The police department issued the following statement:

“Once again our community is faced with the tragic effects of domestic violence. We are again reminded that domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic, age, religious, sex, and education boundaries. We at the Lafayette Police Department take no pleasure in today’s arrests, but the public can be assured that domestic violence has no place in our community and will not be tolerated within our department.” 

The incident reportedly happened on Dec. 31 at a bar in River Ranch. Someone leaked surveillance video of the incident on Jan. 17. It showed a man hitting a woman in the head with a cell phone. Later, she hit him in the face with her broken wine glass.

After media began inquiring about the video, the police department announced the officer involved had retired. That eliminated an internal investigation into his alleged acts, but the department said at the time that the criminal investigation would continue.

KATC did not name the officer until today because he had not been formally charged with a crime.

KATC learned in October 2016 that Dwayne Prejean had been reassigned from his position in metro narcotics at the same time a 15th Judicial District prosecutor suddenly resigned. At the time, they said there was no disciplinary action over the matter, and they declined to comment on the circumstances:

Chief Reginald Thomas will not be commenting on the recent reassignment of employees with the Lafayette Police Department or District Attorney’s Office. No disciplinary action or investigation has been enacted by the Lafayette Police Department. There will be no further comment at this time.

Several former officers had also named Dwayne Prejean as a defendant in a federal lawsuit alleging corruption and retaliation in the department. Those officers claimed their superiors would punish them for airing grievances about misconduct and racism within the department.

The suit was ultimately dismissed in favor of the defense.

Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard told KATC he was not made aware of the video until last Tuesday. After being made aware, the chief began an internal and criminal investigation. The results of the criminal investigation led to the arrest on Tuesday. 

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