Tulane student robbed in home invasion on Broadway, chases attackers and retrieves her laptop

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Two NOPD Second District investigators and a Tulane police officer speak to a witness in front of a home in the 600 block of Broadway, where a Tulane student was robbed inside her home. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A 20-year-old Tulane student had her sense of security in her own home shattered Thursday afternoon when two men forced their way in her front door, held her down on the floor at gunpoint and robbed her Broadway Street house.

Moments later, frustrated that her attackers might escape without her even getting a look at them, she ran outside, spotted them down the block, and chased them for a better look — and ended up getting the laptop they stole from her back in her gambit.

“I’m shocked,” the student said, looking back on her actions afterward. “I’m not that strong or courageous of a person. I simply did it because those guys, they should get caught. It’s just not right.”

The student was in her upstairs apartment in the 600 block of Broadway around 1:45 p.m., talking to a visiting friend, when she heard strange sounds coming from the door. She got up to see what the noise was, and suddenly two men burst in, she said.

“As soon as I went to the door, it was busted through and I had a handgun pointed at my face,” the woman said. “I was listening to music, talking to my friend, and the next thing I knew I have a gun in my face — one extreme to another.”

With the gun pointed to her heard, the men instructed her to get on the floor, face down, and not to move or make a sound. She couldn’t see or tell what was happening with her friend, but the men seemed to be taking any obvious items of value from her house, she said, including her laptop, phone and purse.

As soon as they left, the woman ran outside after them and spotted them down the block. Thinking that outside, in public, on a busy street with people around her she might be safer, she ran after the two men to get a better look at them.

“I wanted to get a more accurate description of what they looked like,” she said. “I definitely was afraid. I think it was a rash decision on my part, but I wanted them caught.”

As she neared them, she saw her laptop under one man’s arm, and began begging him to give it back, because it had all the lecture notes for her Political Science and Latin-American Studies classes on it. To her surprise, they handed it over.

“I asked for my laptop back, and they — oddly — gave it back right away,” she said.

She asked for her phone next, and they gave her that as well. Finally, she asked for her purse, and the men broke into a run to get away from her. She followed them up Broadway, onto Hampson and then onto Audubon, calling police on her phone but the two men parted ways out of her sight, she said.

Both robbers were college-aged black men with a medium-brown skin tone, clean cut with short haircuts. One was wearing a black T-shirt, black pants and a purple “I (heart) Haters” hat. The other was wearing a Hawaiian-print T-shirt with khaki pants, and he was carrying a camouflage backpack. Neither was especially tall, and both were slightly thin, with a skateboarder look to them — almost with a “kind of innocent” look to them, she said.

“I never thought it would happen to me, but it just did,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

As investigators looked for evidence around her home, the student sat on the porch steps with her head in her hand and quietly cried. She just moved into the apartment after the semester ended in May, her first time living off campus, and she said she vigilantly reads the university crime alerts in her email and takes sincere precautions to avoid being a victim.

“Broad daylight, Thursday afternoon — it’s totally wrong,” she said. “This is seriously not OK. I am very, very disturbed right now. … I just feel so powerless. That was just so degrading.”

28 thoughts on “Tulane student robbed in home invasion on Broadway, chases attackers and retrieves her laptop

  1. We only had 1 ProjectNOLA High Definition Crime Camera in the immediate area. We instantly pulled it up, and watched as officers responded, but unfortunately, the perps did not run past the camera. We could have better helped, if we had more cameras in the area. If you have an existing CCTV system on your home of business, and wish to give us access to your outdoor camera(s), please call 298-9117. If you do not have a camera, you are welcome to take advantage of our corporate-match donations, and get a ProjectNOLA HD Crime Camera kit for only $295. As we are a non-profit, their are NO monthly fees or hidden costs. Again, please call me at 298-9117, should you wish to learn more about our program.

    • did u READ the article above? The article that INCLUDED the description of the suspects and was about how the chick chased them down so she could get a good description?

  2. Every time this occurs without the assailants being caught we can only expect more copy cats. Just a matter of time before someone gets killed.

  3. Come on Susan Guidry. You have Nopd working overtime in the 2nd district looking for underage drinking. You have written tickets for underage drinking at the boot and brunos tavern. Its getting hot and its time to change your gameplan. They have had home invasions in good neighborhoods. What do u plan on doing?

  4. While I am (admittedly) speculating to a degree, the young woman victim may not have been aware of it, but she probably was “under surveillance” for some period of time prior to 1:45 P.M. today. It would not be beyond the realm of possibility that some sort of Negro workman, or service provider, had actually been inside the apartment in the not too distant past, and was working with “the hitmen”, who had never been in the apartment previously, to explain “the lay of the land” to his “hitmen” buddies. This entire episode could have had a tragic ending in the apartment for the young woman who was the tenant, for her friend (whose trials and tribulations we don’t know a lot about), and then again out on the street where “anything” could have happened. I sure hope that private surveillance camers in the areas traversed by these two “urban terrorists” before and after the “hit” captured their MUGS on videotape. Ashton O’Dwyer.

    • dude, you appear to be racist, and read too many crime novels. weird combo, but save your energy for the csi miami, horatio needs you. btw, the word “negro” has been offensive for like 50 years, that’s a clown statement bro

    • Did you seriously just use the word “negro?” Racism is a huge problem in this city that feeds the cycle of violence. You can do your part by keeping your racism to yourself, or better yet, getting rid of it altogether.

      • I think it’s more than obvious that racism is a huge problem in our city. Black on white racism has been the norm for as long as I’ve lived here and unfortunately we have a situation where white people are afraid to even acknowledge that race exists for fear of being or being labelled racist while a large portion of the black population seems to feel it’s perfectly alright to victimize white people as part of some ill conceived ‘justified’ revenge.

        This city is and always has been majority black. The problems of the black community here are perpetrated upon that community by black people and always have been. Yet for some reason the current version of local history is that somehow evil whites caused all the problems so therefore it’s perfectly fine to go out and rob, beat, kill, rape, or whatever those same whites because they’re the reason life is so bad.

        Sorry, racism is real, and here in New Orleans it’s a very active part of life. If you want to test the waters of the race-free fairyland you might dream of living in, try as a white person to go into the majority of city offices, retail locations, restaurants and so forth where the majority of employees and managers are black. You’ll find out really fast what life is like when you’re the minority in a racist city.

  5. I just came from the 600 Block of Broadway to buy BOOZE at Rite Aid on the Corner of St. Charles and Broadway. My visit and “look-see” left me a little confused. I don’t know what apartment building the young woman who was robbed today lives in, but I can say unequivocally that THIS IS AN EXTREMELY BUSY BLOCK. The two “black youts” who perpetrated today’s atrocity must have had a “death wish” to attack women in an apartment building in broad daylight in the middle of the day in this Block. This tells me that “someone”, “somehow”, got the word to them that the coast was clear at 1:45 P.M. today. So let me add to possible “suspects” based upon what I saw tonight: MOVERS, ie. the guys who work for moving companies, particularly summertime casual help, who moved students OUT and moved students IN this summer. Students may STILL be moving OUT and IN. As I said, the 600 Block of Broadway is a VERY BUSY Block, with lots of two story apartment houses, and lots of students. I also would interview the Rite Aid employees, some of whom are “right there”. Lastly, I’d want to talk to the people who make deliveries to Rite Aid, as well as the people who unload the trucks making the deliveries. This is just “stream of consciousness” thinking, which could be totally WRONG. But it’s what’s on my mind based on what I saw tonight. Ashton O’Dwyer.

    • ashton i generally agree with your comments but i think you are off point here that girl described them clearly ..skater punks looking for a quick hustle they are clearly defined and they are mobile. probably back in the quarter within minutes there have been several muggings in the past with this same set up in and around the quarter ,[new]skater kids jumping girls taking the path of least resistance but it will lead to more courage
      that girl was very smart, clear and courageous in her statements if the cops don’t figure this one out something needs to change

      • Well, I know the police aren’t happy with her actions. If you chase these type of people, you better have a gun in your hand and be prepared to defend yourself.
        Any other time in NOLA, she would have been killed by the thugs she chased down ! They will kill you for a lot less than the price of a laptop.

  6. Could not agree with you more. Have these handful of home owners in these associations fighting Tulane and progress uptown tooth and nail. Little do they know it’s just a matter of time before home boy shows up and stuffs a glock in their face to rob them. Susan Guidry any the associations need to get their priorities straight before crime forces this neighborhood to become another section 8 haven.

  7. Am I dreaming or is crime worse–much worse–under the leadership of Mr. Serpas and Mr. Landrieu? Have hundreds of cops quit or been removed from the force for minor infractions? Are there really only 2 or 3 cop cars patrolling Uptown on any given shift? Do the criminals now have no fear of the decimated police force? Didn’t I just read that all the robberies Uptown have provoked a “major” response from the police? Where was that response this afternoon on Broadway? How can a demoralized and decimated police force do anything “major?” Is the Mayor or Mr. Serpas going to answer any of these questions?


  9. Tulane security is a joke. Look at the no. Of emails we get regarding these type of incidents. In the last two weeks they sent several. The incidents are increasing. They appear to be automated emails. Same language and even the same spelling mistakes.
    Catch the morons and cane them in broad daylight.

  10. I’m so sorry for this young lady.. If the double the police force soon, this city is going down. there well be no more Tulane Students, would you send your kids and pay 50,000 a year for this. Need the dam Israeil Special Forces here. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND TAKE BACK YOUR CITY.

  11. Just moved out of this neighborhood last month – thank God I did. Still living uptown though, I’ve activated my alarm system and have scheduled a concealed carry license course. With this kind of craziness going on, I would advise people to do the same. When a homeowner/tenant puts lead into the face of an intruder, it will send a strong signal. Love my second amendment rights

    • I was not precise in my statement, I will give you that. This is uptown messenger not NOLA .com or FOXNEWS, so when I say, “it is a matter of time” I am referring to uptown New Orleans, where I believe no innocent people have been murdered as of late in robbery attempts. Also, this article follows several other reports of robberies uptown. Therefore, I assumed you would comprehend the context of my statement. Again, just a matter of time before someone(innocent robbery victim), gets killed(in uptown).

  12. As a proud graduate of Tulane, I could have told these dudes not to mess with a 20 year-old GUTSY female student. Yes, she did a dangerous thing, but MAN, what moxie! WAY TO GO, GIRL. I wish I had a girlfriend like that. This young woman needs a full scholarship and a brass plaque nailed to the Administration Building. To be so brave AND angry to take matters into her own hands was, perhaps, foolish. However, she used her cell phone, which she RETRIEVED from her attackers, to call the cops. That took a cool head and strong resolve to not let these creeps get away with messin’ with her stuff.
    If I win the Powerball this week I will gladly pay for her entire Tulane education, including grad school.

  13. Ashton, please. The approved term is “colored”. Oh, wait; we’ve all been told the politically correct denominator is now “black”. Whoops, this just in: it’s a hate crime not to say “African American”. Isn’t it fun keeping whitey off balance?

  14. Here’s a good legal question: if in a situation such as this where we obviously have a police department incapable or unwilling to provide effective law enforcement, can we as voters elect to create an uptown law enforcement district and direct all the property and sales taxes that are currently going to the NOPD directly toward our own police department or to pay the state police or national guard?

    Certainly there must be some mechanism for opting out of an ineffective corrupt government or government agency when it fails to perform its function.

    • Broadway already has at least 1 extra police entity that can operate there… Tulane has it’s own police dept specificly charged with protecting the campus and the surrounding area.

      • From what I’ve been told by TUPD officers though, they are prevented from doing what they would like to end crime uptown because the Tulane administration doesnt want to seem heavy handed or to get bad PR.

        Also, the problem with local government and NOPD is the same problem that permeates New Orleans society and was oh so obvious during the whole Saints debacle when instead of demanding punishment for illegal and unsporting behavior, fans here rallied to “free Sean Payton”: lack of repercussions!

        We live in a community where criminals don’t go to jail, people who don’t want to work are paid more than those who do, where government officials and employees get paid and even paid more for not doing their jobs, where drivers think its ok the run cyclists off the road, where taxi cabs turn streets into parking lots, where Tulane takes hundreds of millions in state dollars each year while denying Louisianians admission and scholarships — a city where there are no repercussions for your actions.

        The only way that local used policing can be done and those doing it held accountable is if they know that failure to do so would result in them losing their funding and their jobs.

        Newsflash New Orleans: Uptown residential property owners pay for most of the city budget!

        We need the ability to take our tax dollars away from NOPD and use it elsewhere, not to pay more on top of our already inequitable share to pay a private company to do NOPD’s job or to pay off-duty NOPD.

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