What IS happening?
Unfortunately there's a question mark behind that phrase. It's been like pulling teeth to get reports about crimes in the French Quarter and the Marigny Triangle this past week.
Finally, late Tuesday afternoon (5.8.07) we received reports of two armed robberies that happened almost a week earlier! We never did reports on two cases of aggravated battery, though we were told those were actually simple battery--the only difference, I guess, is whether you get hit with a weapon ("aggravated") or fists ("simple").
The idea behind NOcrimeline was that Capt. Edwin Hosli, commander of the NOPD's 8th District, and his staff would inform the residents of his district as soon as possible when a crime occurred so they'd be more vigilant and take precautions to keep themselves safe. If this is important to you--as one of nearly 400 subscribers to NOcrimeline--make it a point to show up at Thursday (5.10.07) evening's NONPAC meeting at 5:30 p.m . at the Omni Royal Orleans hotel, 621 St. Louis St.
Let Capt. Hosli know these crime reports are important to you. If you can't make the meeting, perhaps email him at EHosli@cityofno.com.
Robbery suspect arrested: 8th District officers did arrest one suspect in connection with 2 of the 3 armed robberies in the area this past week, one at Annunciation and Poeyfarre streets in the CBD on Sunday (4.29.07) at 4:25 a.m. and the other at Royal and Gov. Nicholls streets in the Quarter on Tuesday (5.1.07) at 3:19 a.m.
James Allen, 19, is being held on $325,000 bond for 2 counts of armed robbery with a firearm, one count each of attempted 2nd-degree murder, felon with a firearm, and probation violation. It looks like he decided to go big time this time--a year ago he pled guilty to possession of crack cocaine and got 3 years probation. He'll go to court July 3 to see if there's enough evidence against him to prosecute him for these major-league offenses.
The other robbery this past week was actually only an attempt, but the victim was knifed. The victim was walking in the 700 block of Conti Street about 12:45 a.m. when he was accosted by a black male in his early 20s, approximately 6' tall, weighing 160 lbs. The victim refused to give up his wallet and the perpetrator pulled a knife and the two began to fight. The victim was slashed on his right forearm and the perpetrator fled. The victim recovered the contents of his wallet which had scattered on the sidewalk and sought treatment at the hospital for his wound.
No charges in batteries: The two battery cases which were apparently changed from "aggravated" to "simple" occurred on Wednesday (5.2.07) at 3 a.m. at 1100 Decatur St. and on Friday (5.4.07) at 12:30 a.m. at 701 Royal St. The 8th District couldn't supply any further information nor any reports on those cases.
On top of that: Besides the armed robberies, the pace of auto thefts has picked up dramatically--jumping from 5 the week before to 11 this week, plus a few auto break-ins thrown in. Go back and read Quality-of-Life Officer Roger Jones' rules for protecting your car that we published on Wednesday (5.2.07).
Business burglaries seem to be on the bound too. There were 4 last week and 5 this week, including 3 in the Quarter.
Confusion abounds: Even the Big City Daily has problems getting straight information from the NOPD. The Times-Picayune had two reports of crime in the Quarter in its Police Reports on Saturday (5.5.07) that have confusing information. One was a stabbing in the 300 block of Royal Street on Wednesday (5.2.07) at 3:15 a.m. but staffers at the 8th District station could find no such report.
The other item was a robbery said to have occurred at Dauphine and Gov. Nicholls streets on Tuesday (5.1.07) at 3:19 a.m. The date and time match the robbery at Royal and Gov. Nicholls streets in the police report. However, even in the text of that report, the victim reported been accosted by the perpetrator at Chartres and Gov. Nicholls streets. So somewhere in that 3-block stretch the crime likely occurred.
It's scary to know that accurate information is so difficult to come by. How can you protect yourself if you don't know what IS really happening?
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.