NOPD: Woman escapes kidnapper just off St. Charles

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Computer sketch of kidnapping suspect (via NOPD)

A would-be kidnapper tried to grab a woman off the sidewalk and force her into her car as she walked to work last week a block off of St. Charles, police said.

A man also had his wallet forcibly stolen on Magazine Street as he walked home from a bar early Saturday morning, but other than those incidents, police have seen a remarkable recent lull in crime in the NOPD Sixth District, which covers the Garden District, Irish Channel and Central City.

In the kidnapping attempt, a woman who lives in Central City was walking to her job at a Central Business District office building about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, when she saw a white sedan pass by that she’d seen several times in the area previously, said Sgt. Sandra Contreras of the Sixth District persons-crimes division. The woman, who told police she walks to work a different way each day out of safety concerns, said the car parked just ahead of her at the corner of Carondelet and Terpsichore streets, making her uncomfortable as she drew near it, Contreras said Thursday afternoon in the Sixth District’s weekly meeting.

Just as she passed it on the sidewalk, the door swung open and a man inside grabbed her arm, trying to pull her in, Contreras said. The woman fought back, stumbled, and fell into the mud out of the man’s grasp just as another car came by. With that, the man pulled the door shut and the car sped away, Contreras said, possibly spooked by the presence of a witness.

The suspect is described as a clean cut black man in his mid-30s with a thin mustache, weighing about 190 pounds and 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9, wearing a dark blue button-down shirt with a blue pattern and slacks. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Kristen Krzemieniecki at 658-6122 or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

Strong-arm robbery | The only persons-crime thus far this week in the Sixth District was a robbery on Magazine Street, roughly around 1 a.m. Sunday, Contreras said.

A man who left The Saint bar on St. Mary Street was walking in the 1600 block of Magazine when he was approached from behind by a man demanding his money. The victim told police that he was extremely drunk and blew his assailant off, but that the robber then grabbed his arm, reached into his pocket and stole his wallet, Contreras said.

The victim didn’t initially report the robbery, but on Monday received a call from the management of the River Gardens apartments, saying they’d found his insurance card on the ground. At that point, he decided to file a police report, but said he had been too intoxicated that night to get a useful description of the robber, Contreras said.

Low numbers | Capt. Robert Bardy, commander of the Sixth District, began Thursday’s meeting by praising the work of his officers over the last few weeks. Two weeks ago, the district saw a severe spike in reported persons and property crimes, 36. Of the 10 persons crimes that week, however, officers made arrests in eight and have suspects in the remaining two.

Last week, narcotics officers served three search warrants and seized a gun in each of them, and the district only saw 13 reported persons or property crimes. Of those, there were only two persons crimes and both were solved by detectives, and Contreras noted that one of the arrests, the suspect in a shooting on Prytania Street, may have been behind a number of other armed robberies in the area.

“This is remarkable work during challenging times,” Bardy said. “I’m thanking y’all in front of everybody. I know I don’t thank y’all often enough, but this was a good week.”

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