A teenager on a bicycle with a gun was arrested on Milan Street on Friday night as investigators patrolled the area investigating a recent spree of five robberies nearby, New Orleans police said.
After five robberies by a shotgun-carrying suspect in the blocks around Napoleon Avenue and Coliseum Street over the last two weeks — including two robberies in a few minutes’ time Tuesday night on Milan Street — police from the NOPD Second and Sixth districts were concentrating their patrols in the area on Friday night, said Lt. Nick Gernon, who leads investigations in the Sixth District. Around 10 p.m., a Second District officer spotted a subject on a bicycle who matched the description of the robber near Milan Street, and the subject tried to flee, but police stopped him just across St. Charles Avenue, Gernon said.
The pursuit passed the large windows of New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co. just before closing time, momentarily startling the employees inside. Earlier that evening, they had been talking about the brazen armed robbery of Atchafalaya restaurant, so they were momentarily alarmed to see the police apprehending the suspect outside.
“That was on our minds,” said restaurant employee Andrew Bird.
The teenage suspect, whose name is not being released because of his age, had a pistol in his pocket, Gernon said, and was wanted on several outstanding arrest warrants. He was arrested, Gernon said, and detectives are now investigating links between him and the evidence collected in the shotgun robberies. Investigators had not found the shotgun as of around 11 p.m., but were continuing to search for it, Gernon said.
The five robberies fall on both sides of Napoleon Avenue, which is technically the line between the Second and Sixth districts, but Gernon said that Friday night’s gun arrest by officers from both districts shows the extent to which they are collaborating.
“These officers did a great job,” Gernon said. “It shows that in this investigation, the Second and the Sixth districts don’t really have a boundary.”
As police prepared to take the suspect into custody, New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood employees filtered out of the restaurant, their shifts over for the night. As they passed, they noticed the youth in the back seat of the NOPD patrol car.
“They got someone,” one employee said as she passed. “Good.”