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SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) - Slidell police say they arrested a woman who left her five-month-old baby in a hot car at a strip mall in the city.

According to police, 44-year-old Gloria Elzy told them that she forgot the child was in the car.  An alert bystander is credited with noticing the child and notifying police who used what’s called a lockout device to open the door.

Chief Randy Smith says he can’t believe that anyone could forget about having a child in their car.  He says the child was unresponsive and sweaty and had been in the car for about 30 minutes.

The city’s office of child services is also involved in the investigation.  Elzy faces a felony charge of second degree cruelty to juveniles and remained in jail late Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the child receive emergency treatment and made a full recovery.

 

 

police_lightsNEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - A 18-year-old boy was shot multiple times Tuesday evening in the lower 9th Ward, according to police.

It happened around 7:20 p.m. as the teen was walking in the 6300 block of Chartres Street.

Police say the victim was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Nine people were injured when two men open fire into a crowd early Sunday morning in the French Quarter, according to police.

The shooting happened around 2:45 a.m. in the 700 block of Bourbon Street near the World Famous Cats Meow and Pat O’Brien’s.

At last check two of the victims were in critical condition (including a woman), six were in stable condition, and the condition of the ninth victim was not known.

Police said not all the victims are from New Orleans.

“These are two cowardly young men who chose to settle a dispute with total disregard for human life,” said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas. “Our officers are working around the clock to identify and arrest the suspects involved in this shooting. We will hold them accountable and we will bring them to justice.”

The shooting and its aftermath were caught on a camera. WATCH video from the streaming site EarthCam HERE and HERE

Mayor Mitch Landrieu sent WGNO News this statement:

“Our number one priority is to keep New Orleans safe.  These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered.  NOPD was in the immediate vicinity at the time of the incident, and I am confident that between video evidence and eyewitness accounts, we will bring the perpetrators to justice. Our crime fighting efforts have brought murders in the city of New Orleans to a historic nearly 30-year low.  But on days like today, the statistics don’t matter because every life is precious – from the 9th Ward to the French Quarter.  We will not rest until every corner of this city is safe.”

The New Orleans Police Department release the below video late Sunday night.

Police spokesman Frank Robertson said the department enhanced the video to illustrate the shooter(s).

“When viewing the video you can see the gunman standing alone. Towards the end of the video you can see the shooter running and firing towards the sidewalk, you will clearly see the muzzle flash on the video,” Robertson said in a release.

WARNING: Parts of this video maybe too graphic for some viewers.

 

SHRIEVER, La. (WGNO) - A man is accused of leaving an accident scene then crashing into a home, killing a two-year old little girl.

Shriever, La is where remaining family is picking-up the pieces.

“I wasn’t expecting my daughter to be dead,” says father Lance Strickland who valiantly relives how his two-year old daughter Taylor was killed, asleep in bed, when a pickup truck crashed into their home.

“He jumped the ditch. That’s just where he hit the mud at and he just never stopped,” say Strickland.

“The truck came through and then the baby was right over there,” says and Uncle. “It threw the baby right up against that wall.”

Strickland says his wife Brittany suffered multiple broken ribs and a fractured spine, “I seen smoke and headlights next to me my wife was on the other end of the room on top of the TV.”

State Police say the driver of the truck is 20 Tony Milligan from Houma, who was fleeing after crashing into another car a half mile up the road.

“A twenty year old drunk driver killed my baby little girl,” says Strickland. “He was arguing with the people at the hospital saying he didn’t want to be there, I wasn’t drinking and I shouldn’t have to take a Breathalyzer.”

Milligan is charged with vehicular homicide on a $300,000 bond.

There were four other children in the home at the time of the crash.

To help Taylor’s family with medical costs and repairs you can donate at any Capital One Bank in Taylor Strickland’s name.

News
06/26/14

Car Stolen with 2-year-old Girl Inside

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - New Orleans police are hoping you can help them catch two men who they stole a car in Central City with a two-year-old girl in the backseat.

It was about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Surveillance video caught a black Infiniti pulling into the Shell station on the 2100 block of South Claiborne Avenue in Central City. Police say the driver leaves his engine running, headlights on, and his two-year-old daughter alone as he heads inside to pay for gas.

Meanwhile the driver of a stolen red PT Cruiser parked at a nearby pump is caught exiting the Chrysler, running towards the black Infiniti, and taking off with the car and the child. This as a passenger in the PT Cruiser gets into the driver’s seat and also speeds away.

80-year-old Dolores Givens lives in the area. Dolores says, “Poor little innocent child, but then you got to be careful not to leave those kids. You can’t let the kids out of your sight.”

“I’ve jumped out of my car and left it running, but I didn’t have my children in the car, but even though I can’t say I wouldn’t have. People don’t think about things at the time,” says concerned father Maurice Lee.

Police say while the father may be facing charges their focus is on finding the two suspects facing theft and simple kidnapping.

As for the toddler, police say the little girl was found in good condition about two miles away by a passerby wandering alone, on the sidewalk near the intersection of St. Louis and Treme Streets.

Cmdr. Robert Bardy with the NOPD says, “Basically, this is a crime of opportunity and it’s something that we should, as citizens, should be more aware of. Who would get out in a gas station and leave their car running? More so, who would leave their child inside the car? So this is something that may have, and could have been prevented if someone could just take a little more precaution.”

Police are looking for a black 2003 Infinity G35 with Louisiana plate XXM725. Police say there was a gun inside the car.

They’re also looking for a red Chrysler PT Cruiser with Louisiana tag XTF472. They say this car was also stolen.

If you have any information call Crimestoppers at (504)822-1111

 

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The FBI’s five day nationwide underage prostitution sting recovered 168 underage victims.

“Three juveniles here in Louisiana,” says FBI Agent John Selleck. “One each in New Orleans, Shreveport and Baton Rouge.”

“It’s a very lucrative business so they have a lot of capital,” says one former strip club insider who worked behind the scenes for close to ten years.

He says recruiters target vulnerable kids new to the city, “They catch ‘em young and  unaware. They come with a helping hand. But that comes at a cost. At first it`s small favors.”

Selleck says 281 pimps were arrested nationwide, 16 in Louisiana, “They leverage those vulnerabilities against them and they do it effectively.”

As part of the operation, FBI agents focused on hotels, truck stops, casinos and places pimps operate, as well as escort service websites.

“I’m gullible and didn’t have anything else,” says one Bourbon Street dancer who remains nameless. “I just had no money, I had nowhere to stay.”

Now 25, the dancer says she moved to New Orleans from Kansas while still underage and was quickly lured in, “It was either go with him and do what he wants you to do, or have nothing and be broke and be by yourself.”

She says besides the internet, a majority of underage sex crimes are arranged on Bourbon Street, behind closed doors of popular strip clubs, “The pimps who have these girls in the clubs have their 16 or 17 year-olds at home. You don’t have a choice, I was young, very impressionable. I didn’t know anything else. I grew up in a really small town.”

“Before they know it they find themselves in a position they can’t escape it,” says Selleck.

The Bourbon Street dancer says she’s been in that very position, “He would strip me naked and beat me with cell phone charger and stuff like that.”

“We have clubs that do private VIP rooms with Little Mermaid wallpaper,” says the former strip club employee who’s seen firsthand. “People come here to do things that they can’t or won’t do in their own home.”

Those who know the New Orleans sex industry says local policy’s must change just to slow down underage sex crimes, “I don’t think you need to be a dancer or anything in the business until you are 21. if you got to be 21 to enter it you should be 21 to work there.”

“Greatly increase the severity and number of sentences handed out to those who affiliate with any form of juvenile sex crimes,” says the former strip club worker.

Across Louisiana, agents rescued a total of three children, and arrested 16 pimps and 75 prostitutes.

“Typically the juveniles we are recovering are from all different walks of life, of all different ethnicities,” says Selleck. “I’ve never found one that’s been recovered that’s told me it was a fantastic lifestyle.”

“But if we didn’t get you this time,” he adds. “Better look over your shoulder because we’re coming for you.”

 

David Jackson

David Jackson

KENNER, La. (WGNO) – A man on parole for drugs and weapon charges is accused of shooting at a pickup truck Saturday afternoon injuring a 10-year-old boy.

Officials say the shooting happened around 2 p.m. when both vehicles; a red pickup truck and a green Acura, passed each other several times in an alleged road rage incident on Interstate-10.

Once reaching Kenner, police say the man driving the Acura open fired at the pickup striking the boy in the backseat. The boy suffered a graze wound to the nose area, according to doctors and underwent surgery. He is expected to recover.

The shooter then attempted to flee the scene, but the pickup rammed the Acura several times getting the attention of police.

Authorities charged 26-year-old David Jackson with aggravated criminal damage to property, attempt second degree murder, illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies, illegal carrying of weapons, multiple traffic violations, and possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine (19 grams). After Jackson’s arrest he informed officers he had crack cocaine concealed on his person which was later seized.

Jackson was on parole until August 2016 for distribution of drugs and felony possession of a firearm.

Jackson’s 25-year-old girlfriend, and his 6-year-old and 5 month old sons were also in the car during the shooting.

Kenner Police are investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against the driver of the pickup truck. No other injuries were reported.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Mid-City has one of the densest Hispanic populations in the city of New Orleans; and apparently thieves know it. Advocacy groups say Hispanics are being targeted for armed robbery; and many of the crimes are not being reported.

Staffers at Leticia’s Hair Salon didn’t want to speak on camera, but told us in no uncertain terms that the fear of being robbed is real.

“At all times now she has to keep the door locked because she’s had problem with people going in there in the middle of the day,” an unidentified neighbor said.

Crimes against Hispanics are on the rise in Mid-City everything from armed robberies to physical attacks.

Business owners say some of them have happened in the 4000 block of Tulane Avenue.

“I say it’s a shame.”

This man who describes himself as Hispanic doesn’t want to be identified.

He’s aware of the rise in crimes against Hispanics. He says construction workers and day laborers are often targeted in broad daylight.

“There’s such mistrust that they don’t believe that they are safe going and putting their money in a bank.”

Construction Project Manager Mike Wilkerson doesn’t hire day laborers but understands their plight.

“Because a lot of them are not legal and they’re afraid that if they do get robbed they can’t go to the police,” Wilkerson said.

“You’ve got to understand where most of these people come from the police are not their friend,” the neighbor added.

Community Advocates are working to build trust and bridge the gap between the people and police.

In a statement, NOPD spokesman Benjamin Hammond said, “We encourage anyone who is the victim of a crime to report it to the NOPD. They are not asked to provide proof of residency or citizenship.”

The Mid-City Business Association has installed Project NOLA crime cameras near Hispanic bars along Tulane Avenue.

“Most of them unfortunately decide to go out partying and they carry their whole paycheck with them,” the neighbor said.

“They probably don’t have a bank account so some of the thieves know it,” Wilkerson said.

Hammond went on to say the NOPD recruits and hires officers from diverse backgrounds in order to effectively communicate with residents.

 

News
06/18/14

Recent Bicyclist Attacks Put Bywater Women on High Alert

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Women living in the Bywater area tell us they are fed up and worried. They feel they’ve become a target, especially if they’re riding bike alone at night. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano has the latest on similar attacks haunting women there, and surveillance video that could help you identify the criminals.

Tereson Dupuy moved to the Bywater with her family about a year ago.

“It’s just a great place to live, and I can ride my bike to anywhere in the city,” says Dupuy.

Like many in the Bywater Dupuy primarily uses her bike to get around, but as of now she is changing her habits. You won’t find her on a bike once the sun goes down.

“It’s planned. People are hiding out and they’re waiting for these ladies to come on their bike and attack them. Now I have to change what I’m doing because I don’t know who is hiding behind the next car,” says Dupuy.

News of two recent attacks has women peddling through in the Bywater on high alert. Both attacks happened near the corner of Clouet and Burgundy involving women riding their bikes alone at night.

Bywater resident Adrienne Bell says, “I haven’t been riding my bike at night so much anymore, but I know that it’s happening in the daytime at times as well. It does worry me, but I tend to ride fast too.”

The latest incident happened Tuesday at around 1 a.m. The Bywater Neighborhood Association shares pictures with WGNO saying a man inside the pictured car got out, hid, and attacked a woman as she peddled by. Reports show the attacker eventually drove away after the woman broke free.

bywater attack

Credit: The Bywater Neighborhood Association (click to enlarge)

Just 10 days earlier on June 7th police say a similar scene unfolded.  Surveillance video captures a blue Toyota Corolla coming up a one way street the wrong way while chasing a woman riding bike. The woman falls and instead of running away, she goes back for her bike and is attacked by the female driver and a male who rolls up on his bike. Both eventually take off in the car when neighbors come out to help.

Bywater resident Audrey Wagner says, “My boyfriend was inside of the house and he heard it and ran out too screaming and all the other neighbors came out too.”

They are two troubling incidents the neighborhood doesn’t want to deal with.

“We all share that same sentiment that, you know, we’re afraid,” says Dupuy.

The NOPD says they’ve stepped up patrols in the area to keep women safe. So far no arrests have been made.

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