The 318: Hire of convicted rapist causes business to close, Shreveport discusses violence

·3 min read

As conversation in the 318 continued to be spurred by the previous week's stray bullet killed a 13-year-old girl, a Shreveport middle school found itself addressing bomb threat rumors and a Shreveport taxi service learned the hard way that a receipt for a background check does not suffice in place of said background check.

Shreveport taxi service has business license revoked after hiring convicted rapist to drive

Taxi
Taxi

The Shreveport City Council voted unanimously to uphold a license revocation against a local taxi cab service that admitted to hiring a convicted rapist.

The company, VIP Taxi Services LLC, spoke before the City Council on Monday in an attempt to appeal the Shreveport Police Department's order that it suspend services immediately.

SPD revoked the company's license after discovering VIP allowed registered sex offender Ontario Samuels to drive, despite his third-degree rape conviction.

"They had a rapist working for them?" asked councilman John Nickelson.

“Did you all have a sex offender working for you?” asked councilman James Green.

“Yes we did, but we found out about that after the fact.” said VIP owner Vernon Moore.

'Tired': Nationally renowned LSU doctor, Shreveport council talk gun deaths and children

Dr. John Vanchiere, of LSU Health Shreveport, talks during the press conference about COVID at Government Plaza on December 31, 2021.
Dr. John Vanchiere, of LSU Health Shreveport, talks during the press conference about COVID at Government Plaza on December 31, 2021.

The effects of gun violence on children and attracting Fortune 500 employers to Shreveport was discussed with nationally renowned LSU pediatrician John Vanchiere at the Shreveport City Council meeting Tuesday.

Vanchiere appeared at the meeting with a group of medical students who he said have seen a consistent stream of gunshot victims over the last few years. Vanchiere reminded the Council that Louisiana was ranked number one just five years ago for most number of pediatric gun-related deaths.

“Our nurses are so tired of deaths and gun violence in our community and many of them are more tired of gun violence and tragedy than the Covid pandemic,” Vanchiere said.

ShotSpotter technology and community responsibility discussed at Shreveport violence town hall

Councilwoman LeVette Fuller's Love Your City community meeting Monday afternoon, May 9, 2022, at Caddo Parish Magnet High School.
Councilwoman LeVette Fuller's Love Your City community meeting Monday afternoon, May 9, 2022, at Caddo Parish Magnet High School.

Nearly 150 people attended a town hall meeting held at Caddo Magnet High School on the issue of violence in Shreveport that at times grew heated Monday evening.

Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said the area's law-abiding citizens aren't as innocent as they want to believe.

"The guns are coming from you all in this room," Prator said. "The guns are coming from vehicles and homes where people aren't leaving them secured."

The panel consisted of Shreveport Councilwoman LeVette Fuller organized the town hall after last week's shooting death of a 13-year-old girl in South Highlands. Fuller titled the town hall the "Love Your City" community meeting.

Lockdown at Caddo Parish middle school lifted after bomb threat found not credible

Just before 10 a.m. Friday, Youree Drive Middle School was placed on lockdown when a student made a threat via Instagram. The threat launched an investigation by Shreveport Police and district security.

The threat was found not credible after the officers thoroughly search the premises. Charnae McDonald, Caddo Parish Schools communications director said, "classes will resume as scheduled."

At this time, no arrest has been made but law enforcement is working to track the IP address used in the threat to pursue charges.

Check out The 318 every Sunday for a summary of the biggest headlines of the past seven days.

If you're interested in a deeper dive into the week's local business happenings, check out Business in the 318.

If you'd like to know more about art, food and entertainment from this week, check out Life in the 318.

Kendrick Dante writes for the USA Today Network and is a government watchdog reporter in Shreveport, Louisiana. He enjoys cooking, concerts, and content. Email him at kdbrown1@gannett.com or connect on Twitter @kendrickdante.

This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: The 318: Hire of rape convict causes business to lose license,