Woman arrested for animal cruelty, resisting officer

Published 11:00 am Friday, July 21, 2017

A Washington Parish woman was taken to jail earlier this week on multiple charges after resisting arrest for an animal cruelty violation, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Responding to a report of dogs killing a neighbor’s chickens due to the dogs having been neglected and not being fed, WPSO Det. Demi Rice went to a house on Beck Graves Road on July 20 to investigate, Haley said. She located the residence off of Highway 60 in eastern Washington Parish and discovered an abandoned residence and three malnourished dogs.

Haley said that two patrol deputies responded to the scene and all three officers conducted an inspection of the property and abandoned residence. Feces throughout the house indicated the dogs had been living inside, Haley said, adding that no food or water was present for the animals.

Rice was able to identify the owner of the property as Christina M. Rester, 38, Haley said. She located Rester at her mother’s residence on Highway 60 and escorted her back to the location on Beck Graves Road. Rice advised Rester of the complaint and reminded her of the leash law in Washington Parish.

Haley said that when Rice told Rester that she would be arrested and issued a summons for cruelty to animals, Rester became very belligerent, shouting profanity to the officers and refusing to sign the summons.

As one of the deputies attempted to place handcuffs on Rester, she reportedly began to resist and pull away. She struggled with the deputies and burned one of them on the arm with her cigarette, then smashed the lit cigarette on the other deputy’s uniform shirt, Haley said.

Once handcuffed and placed in the rear seat of the patrol car, Rester continued to resist and verbally threatened the officers, Haley said. Directing her attention to Rice, Rester reportedly cursed her and stated that she would be fired.

Rester was transported to the Washington Parish Jail and booked on three counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of public intimidation, resisting an officer with force or violence, battery on an officer with injury and an outstanding warrant. She remains in jail with her bond set at $10,000. The neglected dogs were properly cared for.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal laughed when he heard of the threat to take the detective’s job.

“I assure Ms. Rester of two things. First, Detective Rice’s job is secure and certainly doesn’t depend on Christina Rester,” Seal said. “Next, Ms. Rester’s choice to neglect the animals and to resist our officers who were doing their job, has earned her a well-deserved stay in jail. I appreciate the fine work of Detective Rice and patrol deputies Easterling and Dominguez.”