Mentally disturbed man shoots Iberia Parish Sheriff's deputy
NEW IBERIA – A man who was recently released from a Crowley mental treatment facility is facing multiple charges after shooting an Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a call of a break-in at the man’s ex-wife’s home.
The suspect, 75-year old James Herbert Bowden, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated arson and violation of a restraining order after being arrested early Tuesday morning in Iberia Parish.
At approximately 7:45 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a burglary in progress on Loreauville Road. The female caller reported that a male suspect was attempting to break into the residence with a hammer.
Deputy Steve Gardner arrived first at the residence and was fired upon through a screen door when he approached the front of the home. Gardner was struck in the head with shotgun pellets, however, he was able to retreat to protection behind his patrol car. He immediately called for help and more deputies arrived and surrounded the house.
The began negotiations and they came to find out Bowden’s identification as well as the fact that it was his ex-wife’s house. Eventually, Bowden released the woman from the home.
The victim in the case, Betty Bowdeen, had a restraining order against the suspect.
After Bowden was taken into custody, he informed the officers that he had set fire to the home. The home was completely destroyed by the blaze.
Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Wendell Raborn said Bowden was booked into the Iberia Parish Correctional Center where he will receive psychiatric treatment if necessary.