NEW ORLEANS – The two men who were brutally attacked on Bienville Street Saturday night were tourists in town from the Boston area.
At a press conference this morning, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said the tourists were heading back to their hotel when a group of men attacked them from behind.
“It seems to be a robbery gone bad, in which the victims had their wallets and their cell phones taken,” Eighth District Commander Nicholas Gernon said at the press conference.
Graphic surveillance video of the attack shows one man falling to the ground unconscious and bleeding from the head as the robbers go through the pockets of the two victims.
Both victims were hospitalized. Harrison said he and Gernon visited both men in the hospital.
“One was in critical condition,” Harrison said. “One was hurt pretty badly, but was stable. We were able to talk with one of them.”
Charges against the group that attacked and robbed the victims have been upgraded from simple robbery to second degree robbery, which carries a sentence of up to 40 years upon conviction.
“Because the person has an injury as a result, and it’s a pretty substantial injury,” Harrison said of the increase in charges.
Some of the video and still images investigators have reviewed so far have come from Project NOLA, Harrison said.
“These people committed this crime out of the eyes of the police,” Harrison said. “There were nearly 50 police officers working in this area that night, but they did not commit this crime out of the eyes of the community. It was caught on camera. There are multiple cameras that caught this incident.”
More still photos and video will soon be released, Harrison said.
“A message to the people who did this: in just a little while, everybody’s going to see you, everybody’s going to know exactly who you are,” Harrison said. “We’re coming for you, and we’re going to make you pay and hold you accountable for what you did.”