LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Jody Thomas Thrasher, 47, who was on the run since Sunday after escaping from Evangeline Parish Jail, called News 10 and asked for help as he claimed he was injured and wanted to tell his ‘story.’ He was arrested by Lake Charles authorities Tuesday evening, but before the detained, here is what unfolded with the station and Lafayette Police Department.
Dwight Dugas, the Operations Manager with the station, talked to Thrasher about getting him to the hospital and getting him to turn himself in after learning he was the inmate. News 10 called all authorities involved and asked Thrasher to come to Lafayette. Thrasher agreed.
News 10, along with Lafayette Police authorities, waited at Lafayette Consolidated Government for a couple of hours, but he never showed up.
“Jody, I’m sitting here. I’ve been waiting on you for about half an hour,” said Dugas on the phone with the escapee.
Jody Thomas Thrasher replied, “I’ve been trying to get the footage to you. If I don’t go there with no footage, it’s going to sound like I’m lying.”
Dugas mentioned the station could work on the footage but needed him in person.
“I want them to know everything coming out and what they have done to me, and I’m falsely accused. I was set up by the law,” said the escapee.
“Okay, but Jody, if I can’t tell your story, what are we doing here?” Dugas questioned.
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. [His wife] She sent you the footage, and when you got the footage, we talked about the story. That tells the story. All the footage tells the story,” Thrasher tells Dugas.
Dugas stressed, “Alright, I can use the footage, but I need to get your interview in the can.”
Thrasher worried his story would not be told right. However, Dugas tried to reassure him he was getting help, but trust was needed.
“No, hey, look, I’m helping you. Like I told you earlier if you can’t trust me, then we can’t deal, but I’m helping you,” he said.
“But you said you knew that sheriff, man; you’re scaring me with him,” said the escapee.
“Well, I know the sheriff, of course, I know the sheriff, but that’s a good thing because then I can talk to the sheriff and find out if something is going wrong,” replied Dugas.
In a panic voice, Thrasher said, “This goes all the way up to the judge. This is not a little thing. There’s a lot of s*** going on. This is big, all the way up to the judge.”
“Okay, I can investigate all of that; Jody is what I’m telling you,” said Dugas.
However, the escapee was not convinced. He asked for a federal agent to investigate and asked to speak to one before doing the interview.
Officer Wayne Griffin, with Lafayette, answered the phone, saying, “Jody, what’s going on, man?”
It was right away; Thrasher hung up the phone. News 10 reached multiple attempts to reconnect with Thrasher but was unsuccessful.
Sheriff Charles Guillory denied Thrasher’s accusations.
Authorities said Thrasher jumped from the second floor, at least 20 ft. He probably injured his leg. He is in police custody with Lake Charles law enforcement.
Evangeline Parish released this statement Wednesday morning”
“On May 30,2023 Sheriff Charles R. Guillory received a phone call from a local Lafayette Television station. They advised Sheriff Guillory that, escape Jody Thomas Thrasher had called them and was wanting to turn himself in. The T.V. station was in the process of setting up a surrender location. Escape Thrasher said he was on his way to Giraud Park. The Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Sheriff Department were contacted and were awaiting his arrival. Thrasher then called the T.V station back and said he would meet them at the city hall. Thrasher then called back later and said he was at a local business on the North side of Lafayette.
Lafayette Police Department then called off the search since it was clearly a game Thrasher was playing with the local T.V. station, and a complete waste of manpower and resources.
“Later in the evening of May 30,2023 Thrasher arrived at a hospital in Lake Charles for a injury to his foot, that he sustained when he jumped from the top of the 20 foot exercise yard wall. Thrasher was taken into custody by the Lake Charles Police Department, once he was released from the hospital. Thrasher was then returned to Ville Platte and is back in EPSO custody.
“Sheriff Charles R. Guillory would like to thank the Lafayette Police Department, the Lafayette Sheriff’s Department, the Lake Charles Police Department, and the local T.V station for there help in capturing Thrasher.”