Of course, there's always a bad apple: You haven't missed much since the last NOcrimeline report 9.3.07, but there was an armed robbery at about 12:19 a.m. Thursday in front of 929 Orleans Ave. The victim, a 48-year-old white man, was walking along the street when he was accosted by 2 black men who forced him onto the stoop, put a gun to his head and took his wallet from his pants' pocket.
The officers responding to the call immediately put out a description of the perpetrators. A police detective cruising the area spotted 2 men matching the description in the 900 block of Conti Street and detained them. The victim was driven to that location and positively identified the perpetrators.
Arrested were: Armand Watson, 34, last known address 331 Basin St., (left), and Edmond Gabriel, 29, last known address 1431 Conti St. (right). Each is being held on a $125,000 bond pending preliminary hearings on 10.11.07. Watson was charged with armed robbery and armed robbery with a firearm and Gabriel was charged with armed robbery with a firearm.
Violent pursesnatching: On Tuesday, 9.11.07, a Harahan couple, a man, 48, and a woman, 43, were returning to their car at about 11:15 p.m. in the 1300 block of Dauphine Street, just around the corner from the Port Of Call on Esplanade Avenue.
As the man was opening the passenger-side door for the woman, he was attacked by 2 black men. One perpetrator slugged the man in the mouth while the other grabbed the woman's purse.
The robbers fled down Dauphine to Barracks Street where they turned toward Bourbon Street. Both perpetrators were described as 20-25 years old, one was wearing a white T-shirt and had medium-length dreadlocks, the other wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans, about 5'9" tall and weighing 135 pounds.
Not exactly Utopia: Sir Thomas More certainly didn't have a bar in mind when he coined the concept of Utopia, and certainly not Utopia Night Club at 227 Bourbon St. The scene of more than its share of trouble, erupted once again Sunday morning around 5:30 a.m. when a group of 5 black partyers were attacked by another group of 5 revelers, one of whom had a 5" knife.
Typical of Utopia's form--putting the unruly out of the club to make it someone else's problem (like last year when a customer was killed after exiting the club)--the club's bouncer tried to put one group out of the club. One of the men tried to re-enter the club he was attacked by the man with the knife.
When it was all done, the knife-wielding perpetrator left 4 victims, including the bouncer, cut up. Two men were in serious critical condition, one with knife wounds to the head, neck and chest; the other had wounds to the face, shoulder and chest. Another victim, who told police the altercation began when one of the perpetrators started grabbing on his wife, was in stable condition with knife wounds.
The perpetrator was seen driving away in a black Nissan X-terra with Louisiana tag PJA 597. No other description was given of the perpetrator and his posse.
Despite all the problems inside and outside of Utopia over the years, the club has had virtual immunity since 2004 when it was shut down by the NOPD for permit and license violations. Owned by powerful businessman Kishore V. Motwani, who has extensive holdings throughout New Orleans, Utopia reopened almost immediately. But 2 weeks later, Capt. Louis Dabdoub, the popular commander of the 8th District, was booted to the 4th District and obscurity. Most believe he was a victim of his zeal to crackdown on the licensing scofflaws--a crackdown Mayor Nagin initially ordered and then retreated from.