Three teens — ages 15, 16 and 18 — were arrested in connection with Monday’s rape and kidnapping after the youngest suspect’s family members turned him in for questioning Thursday, authorities said.
The 15-year-old — whose name police cannot release because of his age — was brought to the New Orleans Police Department on Thursday morning by his family after they recognized his photo from multiple media reports, said Ronal Serpas in an afternoon news conference. The boy confessed to his role in the Garden District kidnapping and rape, and provided additional information that has police securing a second arrest warrant and a search warrant, Serpas said.
The 16-year-old was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at his home in the Seventh Ward, where a gun was also found, and the final suspect, 18-year-old Christopher Davis, was picked up around the same time in Central City a few blocks from his home on Toledano Street, authorities announced later.
“This was a ruthless, treacherous, cruel violent attack, but I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the family of this young man,” Serpas said. “His family saw the picture. His family brought him in today to be held accountable for this crime. That is how we turn the tide on crime in this city.”
Serpas said he has already conferred with District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, and the boy could be tried as an adult and face a sentence of 50 or 60 years.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he spends a lot of time talking about the murder problem among the city’s young black men, but the city also takes crimes against women and children just as seriously. He thanked the NOPD Sixth District and sex-crimes officers who worked the case, the citizens who called in information and even the Garden District Security patrol for their assistance in solving the case.
“All of us came together to say we’re not going to tolerate heinous acts like this in the city of New Orleans,” Landrieu said.
The full news release is below:
New Orleans Police tonight have three teenagers in custody who they believe kidnapped, robbed and sexually assaulted a woman last Monday evening in the Garden District.
This morning at around 9, a 15-year-old boy was brought to NOPD Headquarters by a relative, and spoke with detectives. Less than an hour later, he had confessed to taking part in the assault.
Late this afternoon, detectives were able to identify and obtain arrest warrants for two other suspects in the case. At 6:30 tonight, officers arrested a 16-year-old boy who was at his home in the Seventh Ward. A search warrant was executed and a gun was located at the residence. And about 10 minutes later in Central City, officers picked up 18-year-old Christopher Davis, who was a few blocks from his home on Toledano Street.
Detectives say that before 7pm last Monday, the victim was getting out of her car in the 1200-block of Eighth Street when she was approached by two of the teens- one of them armed with a gun. They forced her into a waiting vehicle driven by the third teenager. The three suspects then drove the victim around for a while, sexually assaulting her, and finally brought her back to Eighth Street near the corner of Chestnut. One suspect then took her keys and drove off with her vehicle, while the others made off in the other car.
First District Police Officer Charles Hall was on patrol yesterday morning and spotted the victim’s abandoned car in the 800-block of North Dorgenois Street. The vehicle was subsequently recovered by police for evidence.
Christopher Davis and the two juvenile suspects are all booked with Aggravated Rape, Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Battery and Armed Robbery.
Davis was previously arrested for Criminal Mischief and Battery.
“I want to thank Detective Derrick Williams, who is assigned to the Rape Investigations Unit of NOPD and headed up this case. He and some other dedicated officers worked around the clock so that we could make swift progress in identifying these suspects and getting them off the streets”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
“Also, a message to the relatives of the 15-year-old suspect who encouraged him to turn himself in: Please know that you did the right thing. Thank you.”
[Note: This article was first published at 2:55 p.m. Thursday when the first suspect was arrested, and updated shortly before midnight with news of the subsequent arrests.]