Last Wednesday, Bethany Arceneaux, 29, of Duson, La., was abducted by her ex-boyfriend as she was picking up their 2-year-old from daycare. Witnesses saw Scott Thomas, force Arceneaux into his car before driving off.
The child was left in Arceneaux’s car unharmed, but authorities were not able to locate the victim. Arceneaux’s family took matters into their own hands. Two days later, family members located Arceneaux in a secluded and abandoned home, just yards away from the sugar cane area previously searched by police.
Based on police documents and family members, Arceneaux’s kidnapping Wednesday was one in a string of violent incidents that Thomas initiated. She filed a police complaint June 15 saying Thomas locked her in a house and threatened to kill both her and her son.
“He grabbed our son from me and shoved him into the car,” Arceneaux wrote in the report. “Since then, Scott has been riding around my mom’s house and my work looking for me. I am afraid for me and my son’s life.”
“He keeps threatening to kill us. He put a knife to my neck countless times,” she said in the report.
A protective order against Thomas was issued June 17, court records show. Thomas was arrested Aug. 8 for violating the order. He also was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated flight from an officer.
Bethany Arceneaux told investigators that the vacant house was the only place that Thomas had taken her, Judice said. She said she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since Wednesday.
When Thomas heard family members enter the house, she said he began stabbing her. “He did what he needed to do to stop that aggressive behavior,”said Capt. Kip Judice, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office
That information will be key when prosecutors consider whether the family member was justified in shooting Thomas, Judice said. Only one person fired a weapon inside the house, Judice said. Thomas had at least three gunshot wounds.
“The man began harming her. He (Bethany Arceneaux’s family member) did what he needed to do to stop that aggressive behavior from Mr. Thomas,” Judice said. “We have to put all the information together before we can comment further on the extent of that confrontation.”
Law enforcement officials have questioned the family members who stormed the house. Lousisiana’s In Defense Of Others law may prevent charges from being filed against the family member. Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:22, the defense of others, states, “It is justifiable to use force or violence or to kill in the defense of another person when it is reasonably apparent that the person attacked could have justifiably used such means himself, and when it is reasonably believed that such intervention is necessary to protect the other person.”