Cop Who Said He Was Shot in Ambush Is Arrested

Louisiana's John Goulart Jr., 25, allegedly staged the whole incident
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2020 7:30 AM CDT

A Louisiana police officer who said he was ambushed and shot while on duty last weekend has been arrested, with local authorities now saying he staged the whole thing. Per KALB and, John Goulart Jr. of the Pineville Police Department first told fellow officers he'd been getting out of his car in a shopping center close to midnight on Sunday when gunfire rang out. Deputy Chief Darrell Basco originally reported that two shots had been fired: one that struck Goulart int the leg, another that hit his car, WHIO reports. After the shooting, Basco stressed that Goulart—who was taken to a local hospital, treated, and released—hadn't fired back. "We had no reason originally to question what he was telling us was accurate," Don Weatherford, the town's chief of police, tells KALB. The New York Times notes locals rallied around him, calling him a hero and wishing him a fast recovery.

But as police reviewed the evidence more carefully, Weatherford notes, it became clear Goulart had been less than truthful. The 25-year-old was arrested Tuesday, CNN reports. "The investigation led to a determination that the officer shot himself, concealed and altered the facts," Basco said in a statement. notes that Goulart's father, who's also in law enforcement—his LinkedIn shows he's a deputy with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office—made apparent vague reference to his son's troubles online. "It's been a nightmare this week," he wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post, thanking his wife for being his family's rock. Goulart, who's been put on administrative leave, was charged with criminal mischief and malfeasance in office and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. He has since been released on a $10,500 bond, per the Town Talk. (More police officer stories.)

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