BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State Police have revealed an extraordinary security breach at the Governor’s Mansion, saying they had arrested a man last week who trespassed into the building and damaged property before falling asleep on a couch.
Reynard Green, 34, of Baton Rouge was booked April 17 on counts including simple burglary, criminal trespass and criminal damage to property. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Booking records showed Green was found asleep on a couch and had broken an antique wooden table, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said Monday. The sheriff said booking records referred to the location of the incident only as a “governmental building.”
State police spokesman J.B. Slaton said Green also had assaulted two law enforcement officers after being taken to a police headquarters.
“He actually tried to disarm one of the officers,” Gautreaux said, adding officials also found suspected narcotics on Green after patting him down.
Booking records show Green was found asleep before 6 a.m. The records say he was placed in leg shackles as he was “becoming extremely violent.”
Few details of what happened were immediately available. Slaton said that while the breach remains under investigation, authorities are reviewing security protocols at the mansion “for potential areas of improvement.”
Citing the ongoing investigation, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards refused to divulge details Tuesday — including whether he and his wife were at the mansion during the incident — when questioned during a Louisiana Press Association luncheon in Baton Rouge.
He did express continued confidence in the ability of state police to keep him safe. “At no time were we anything other than safe,” he added.
A tall iron fence was built around the Governor’s Mansion in the 1990s. There is only one entrance gate, and is supposed to be guarded by state troopers whenever the governor is there.
Edwards’ press staff has referred questions about the incident to state police.
State Senate President John Alario said he was surprised to learn of the intruder when he read about it Tuesday. He noted security limiting access to the mansion has been stepped up over the years. “I have to give a secret handshake,” the Republican joked. He expressed confidence in state police being able to address any security concerns and said he did not foresee any legislative hearings on the matter.
“We have enough on our plate,” Alairo said.
Mustian reported from New York. Associated Press reporter Melinda Deslatte contributed from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.