Okay, now where were we?
Nothing like the post-Mardi Gras flu to lay you low. After embracing germs from around the world during Carnival, some hang around like a bad parade route guest. But let the coughing and hacking take care of those stragglers and let's see if we can figure out what's been happening for the past couple of weeks.
Persistent punks: 2 black boys were bound and determined to go for a ride on Saturday night (2.9.08), albeit in someone else's car. They first came upon a 21-year-old white guy in the 600 block of Kerlerec Street (at Chartres Street) around 7:25 p.m. and pulled a gun on him, demanding his car keys. The victim gave them up and fled on foot. The only trouble was: the young blighters didn't know how to drive a stick-shift.
Less than 20 minutes later and 6 blocks away, they came upon an elderly couple backing their car out of their driveway in the 800 block of Gov. Nicholls Street (between Bourbon and Dauphine streets) at 7:43 p.m. One of the thugs pulled the man, reported in other sources as 81 yeas old, from behind the steering wheel, while his accomplice dragged his 79-year-old wife from the passenger seat. The young thugs commandeered the car and almost immediately ran into a parked car.
A short while later, police apprehended 2 black boys (identified only as "juveniles" with no ages or names given) who matched the descriptions given by the victims.
Shooter arrested: The NOPD arrested 18-year-old Louis Handy on 2.7.08 at about 7 a.m. in the 1400 block of Arts Street and charged him with attempted murder.
He is accused of shooting 2 other black dudes on Lundi Gras in the 100 block of Bourbon Street at 1:22 a.m. A 16-year-old black boy from Uptown was shot in his right side and a 20-year-old black dude from the Lower 9th Ward was shot in the calf.
More shooting: Just like the Wild West, a 21-year-old woman from Folsom was firing her gun into the air in the 800 block of St. Louis Street near Bourbon Street at 6:08 a.m. Saturday when cops arrived on the scene. As they approached, she took aim at them. When she refused to put her weapon down, one of the officers fired at her but missed (where did that bullet go?). Figuring she would have been dead meat if the officers could shoot straight, she put her weapon down.
Booked with 2 counts of attempted murder was Calizza Coyne. She's sitting in OPP on $350,000 bond.
Still more shooting: Information on the triple shooting at 12:57 a.m. Monday morning, shortly after the NBA All-Star game, in the 300 block of Decatur Street is sketchy at best, but Maj. Hosli insists everything that is known has been given to the press. If this is all the NOPD knows, it ain't much.
The NOPD's PR flak was a fount of minimal information:
- the victims were believed to be two 24-year-old women, one from New Orleans, who was struck in both legs, and one from Galveston, who was struck in one leg, and a 18-year-old man from Florida who was struck in "one or both" calves.
- they were taken to "one or more" hospitals, 2 by ambulances and the other "by private vehicle or ambulance."
- he didn't know if they were the intended targets or hit by stray gunfire.
- he didn't know whether the shooter or shooters were on foot or in a vehicle.
Welcome to New Orleans, now give it up: A 24-year-old black man, who may or may not have been a tourist (the police report doesn't say), was robbed in the restroom of Chris Owens Club, 500 Bourbon St., early Sunday morning at 12:10 a.m.
Two of the brothers pulled a gun on him and demanded his money. He gave up $200 and the robbers fled on foot down St. Louis Street where they were apprehended as they reached N. Rampart Street.
Arrested and charged with armed robbery were Ronald Washington and Donovan Rayfield, both 22.
Big toys for big boys: Much was made of the picture in the TP this week of Mayor Nagin wielding a M-4 in a way that looked like he was going to effect a regime change at the NOPD with Chief Riley in his sights.
Film footage showed the 2 just horsing around with some of the $l+ million robocop armaments the state just gave the city. It's part of a $6.6 million grant for "crime fighting equipment or strategies."
She would have found that Chief Richard Pennington instituted those measures here in 1995 and by 1999 the TP headline was trumpeting "City outpaces U.S. reducing violent crime"--long before it took hold in NYC. While crime nationwide was dropping 6.42%, in New Orleans it decreased 18.43%. That year, homicides dropped to 159, the lowest rate in decades.
That was then, this is now. There's little out there now that resembles "community policing" other than hot air talking about it. Comstat (as it's called here) is a weekly pow-wow of the district commanders in which they're supposed to outline their crimefighting strategies. Little concrete comes out of those meetings to reduce crimes. The same old, same old prevails.