Nov 272012
 

Police investigate an armed robbery at Freret and Cherokee on Monday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A university student riding his bicycle through a Carrollton neighborhood Monday night was attacked and beaten by a trio of armed robbers, he said.

The 22-year-old student was riding his bicycle up Cherokee Street and turned onto Freret shortly after 10 p.m. when he saw three young men on the corner, he said after speaking to police Monday night. As he turned, they ran up and one hit him in the face with a gun to knock him off the bicycle, he said.

“They hit me one time, knocked me down and held me down at gunpoint,” he said, a long, fresh cut under his eye.

While holding him down, they went through his backpack and took his laptop, phone and a few other electronic items before leaving, he said.

The attackers weren’t particularly distinctive in appearance, he said — relatively average height and weight, wearing hooded sweatshirts and dark pants. He said they might have said something to him before the attack, but he wasn’t sure because he had headphones in his ears.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kurtbuchert Kurt Buchert

    I’ve noticed Uptown Messenger hasn’t given much detail on perp descriptions lately. Not even the race of these assailants??

    • UptownMessenger

      Kurt, see my response to Dee below.

  • http://twitter.com/planningbfun Douglas C. Duckworth

    Pay more attention to surroundings and turn off the headphones.

    • bear man

      pay more attention to surroundings i.e. avoid all people and expect your neighbors to come up to you with guns? what kind of neighborhood does that foster?

      and while there was no race listed in this case, as a tulane student I can attest that for the majority of our armed robberies, the perp’s are black. so are we supposed to avoid black people when we see them on the street? what kind of SOCIETY does that foster?

  • Kerry

    It’s time to arm yourself and shoot these guys. Enough of them getshot nd they’ll think twice before robbing someone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Saxgourmet Steve Goodson

      I agree…..too much “feel good” talk about curing social ills to reduce crime…..we need to practice extermination of these predators, not rehabilitation……they are pests, just like rats and cockroaches…….

    • Ric Stolz
  • ck

    Here is the TUPD report which does include subject descriptions:

    Tulane University Police Department

    OFF CAMPUS ARMED ROBBERY

    DATE & TIME OF OCCURRENCE: Monday, November 26, 2012; 10:18 p.m.

    LOCATION: Corner of Cherokee and Freret Streets

    REPORTED OFFENSE: While riding a bicycle on Cherokee Street near
    the intersection with Freret Street, a male student was approached by
    three subjects, one of whom was armed with a blue steel semi-automatic handgun. One subject struck the student on the
    head and pulled the student off his bicycle at which time all three
    subjects began to demand that the victim turn over any property. The
    victim complied with their demands and all three subjects fled on foot.

    SUSPECT’S DESCRIPTION:

    Subject #1: Black male, approximately 18 years of age, 5’10″-6’2″, slim to medium build, orange hoodie

    Subject #2: Black male, approximately 18 years of age, 5’10″-6’2″, slim to medium build, yellow hoodie

    Subject #3: Black male, approximately 18 years of age, 5’10″-6’2″, slim to medium build, white t-shirt

    SUSPECT’S VEHICLE: None observed

  • Dee

    to rob morris, and editors of this great website: I tremendously value your reporting and I love your work. But I am disappointed that you failed to include the police report’s description of the attackers, which could help with their arrest, or alert readers to be on the lookup. Please explain why. I noticed the Times Picayune tends to have this policy of not describing the perps. Did the TP editors push you into following this policy? Are you trying in some weird fashion to be politically correct? Are you scared to write that African-American thugs committed this horrible crime? Don’t be scared to state the truth. So, why? Why not describe the perps, whether their skin is light blue, dark red, pasty white, light yellow, dark chocolate or light chocolate, with short hair, a ‘fro, dreads, crew cut, mohawk, etc. I think if there is a description of the attackers, including the description in your reporting can be helpful to your readers and the police efforts in trying to capture the perps, whoever and whatever race they may be.

    • UptownMessenger

      Dee, first of all, I’d like to point out that I didn’t “fail to include” anything from any police report. I reported this incident Monday night shortly after it happened based on my own interview with the victim, and no “police report” existed or was issued until late Tuesday morning. When it was emailed out — with the additional information about the color of the hooded sweatshirts — I was covering another event, and “ck” posted it in the comments before I could get to it.

      But I understand that’s not the substance of your complaint: you want to know why I didn’t print the race of the suspects. It is my view — developed over years of crime reporting, working with police from many different agencies — that the race of an individual suspect is an irrelevant aspect of a description without other identifying information.

      Now, I tend to have a low bar for what that “other identifying information” should be. A distinctive hairstyle. A hat. Writing on a shirt. Unusual colored clothes. An out-of-the ordinary body type, such as very overweight or very tall. I truly want to help the police and the public solve these crimes wherever I can, so if it’s anything that anyone else could possibly use to say, “Hey, I might have seen those guys,” I’ll print it all, including skin color. There are numerous examples of this on this website, and I’ve explained this policy before to people who complain the opposite position of yours — that any mention of skin color is automatically stereotyping.

      However, “young black males of average height and weight wearing hoodies” doesn’t narrow the field at all. There are literally thousands of young black males of average height and weight in New Orleans, and many of them wear hoodies. In this case, I specifically asked the victim if he saw anything distinctive about his attackers’ appearance that might let someone else in the neighborhood identify them, and he said there wasn’t — and please note that the article includes that response from him. So if just printing the race alone isn’t helpful by any measure, and many members of this community feel that it is harmful, why would I do it? If it’s not useful information, what kind of information is it?

      So that’s why this report didn’t include the skin color of the attackers. There’s another reason that many others do not, and it’s that often the victims barely get any description of the suspect at all. These incidents happen in a flash — seconds even, in some cases — and the victims are often focused on the actual threat to them, such as the gun, rather than the attacker. When police speak to them, they can barely describe their attackers in anything other than the most general terms. And very often, that information is not even included in the NOPD reports. So frankly, in the vast majority of cases, a description of the suspect is simply not available.

      Again, I am fully committed to sharing any information that I think could possibly be used to help solve these crimes or allow residents to identify dangerous individuals in the neighborhood. This is my neighborhood, too — I walk that very intersection several times a week. I have a vested interest in seeing these robberies stopped, which is why I go out in the middle of the night to report on them. I always ask the investigators if the victims got a “useful” description of the suspect, and in the cases when the answer is “yes,” I always print it in full:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=described+black+site%3Auptownmessenger.com

      Thanks for the question. I hope you can see that it’s an issue I’ve put a lot of thought into, and that I’ve tried to come up with an answer that serves the public-safety mission of the reporting on this website as fully and purely as possible.

  • Dee

    Thanks so much for your sharing. I think you have the best website and reporting of its kind in the country. You put other newspapers to shame, and I tremendously respect your views.

    I think reasonable people could disagree on the issue you are addressing. Personally, I think if only the race and gender are known of dangerous assailants, it is still acceptable to say something like “three Hispanic young men” were involved in the incident, or whatever the race may be. If I know there were 3 young Hispanic males involved in this incident, for example, then if I see 3 young Hispanic males in the neighborhood late at night a few days after the incident took place, I think it is rational to be cautious and watchful.

    I may be wrong, but I believe the Times Picayune generally refrained from printing the race of criminals, even when detailed descriptions are known and printed in the police report. I would often compare the police press release with the Times Picayune coverage, and the only difference would be that the Times Picayune constantly deleted the race of the criminals. The Times Picayune would print every other descriptive aspect of the person, except for their race. I think it was done intentionally, and I noticed many people were irritated by this practice on NOLA.com. I thought the Times Picayune did this on purpose (to get people irritated enough to comment online on this practice) so that they could get more “hits” to their website, which I believe is linked to advertising and monetary issues. It’s been a while since I checked (I’m now more hooked on your website than NOLA.com’s), and so possibly the Times Picayune has stopped this. But I definitely believe they followed this practice at one time in the past. It would be interesting to see how journalism schools and other papers handle this issue; I am not sure if there is some industry norm.

    Thanks again for your very thoughtful response, and I love your website. I will always be a fan.