Authorities in Vermilion Parish announced the arrest of a man they described as the most wanted fugitive in Acadiana.

Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer and Violent Crimes Task Force Director Eddie Langlinais announced that one of the most wanted fugitives was apprehended on Wednesday (Sep. 14) as a result of multiple agencies collaborating on what he described as an extensive fugitive search that has spanned over that past several months.

Gavin Garnica was ultimately captured in Abbeville after attempting to evade police in a chase that started in Lafayette Parish.

Due to Garnica having arrest warrants in multiple parishes, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, and the Attorney General’s Office began a search for Garnica within their parish. Upon a first attempt to take Garnica into custody, he attempted to evade the arrest by fleeing, which resulted in a car chase starting in Lafayette Parish, and ended with Garnica’s arrest in Vermilion Parish.

Langlinais said that police were meticulous in their plan to bring Garnica into custody due to his history as a violent individual with complete disregard for law enforcement or public safety.

He is known to be a violent individual with a propensity to put law enforcement and the innocent public at risk. Garnica has a past history of escape from custody, aggravated flight from law enforcement, and a complete disregard for the public’s safety, all of which creates a high-risk apprehension for law enforcement and threatens public safety

Knowing Garnica would act with a nothing-to-lose mentality, officers were extremely calculated in their approach to bringing him into custody as quickly as possible without putting the public, the fugitive, or themselves at risk.

In the end, officers were able to corner Garnica in Abbeville by boxing him in using a perimeter set up by multiple law enforcement agencies including air support from Louisiana State Police who played a huge role by keeping eyes on Garnica as he attempted to evade officers via car chase.

Law enforcement presence from Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Abbeville Police, Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol, and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office task force were all involved in the successful apprehension of Garnica.

You can see from the litany of criminal charges, Garnica’s capture was a priority not only for our agency, but several surrounding agencies as well.

Garnica's laundry list of charges are as follows (per agency):

Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office and Abbeville police Department:

• FTA Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (2 counts), Simple Burglary, Intimidating a Witness, Simple Assault
• FTA Battery of a Dating Partner, False Imprisonment
• FTA Simple Escape
• Felony FTA Resisting Arrest, Aggravated Flight, Reckless Operation, Vehicular Negligent Injuring
• Felony FTA PWITD Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm in the Presence of CDS
• Felony FTA Attempted 1st Degree Murder, Illegal use of Dangerous Instrumentalities, Possession of a Firearm in a Firearm Free Zone
• Felony FTA PWITD Marijuana
• Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana
• Possession with the Intent to Distribute Fentanyl
• Proceeds from Drug Offenses
• Possession of a Schedule II narcotic
• Taking Contraband Into a Penal Facility

Lafayette Police Department:

• Aggravated Kidnapping
• Battery of a Dating Partner
• Carjacking
• Resisting Arrest by Flight
• Unauthorized Entry of Business Place (2 counts)
• Contempt for Possession of Firearm in the Presence of CDS
• Possession of a Stolen Firearm
• PWITD Marijuana
• Resisting Arrest

Iberia Parish:

• Felony FTA Illegal use of Weapons or Dangerous Instrumentalities, and Assault by Drive-by Shooting

In closing, Langlinais said that Sheriff Couvillon wanted to "thank everyone who collaborated on this apprehension and is proud of how all law enforcement agencies came together for the common goal of public safety."

Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

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