Arrest made in Marigny armed robbery - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in Marigny armed robbery; residents say higher police pay is needed

Source: NOPD Source: NOPD

New Orleans police announced they have made an arrest in an armed robbery and beating attack caught on video in the Marigny neighborhood.

Police said Henry Petite, 18, was picked up last week for a July 2 armed robbery in the 1900 block of Constance Street.

Then Monday, while Petite was still being held in jail, officers linked him to a second incident in the 1400 block of Chartres Street on June 24. Petite was re-booked to add an attempted simple robbery.

Police said 8th District detectives have also linked Petite to the armed robbery and attack that happened on June 29 just before 2:30 a.m. at Royal and Marigny Streets. Two victims were struck with a handgun in that attack and the robbers made off with their belongings.

"That's really kind of amped it up a little bit because now it's getting physical against, you know, people in the neighborhood and it's kind of scary," said Phillip Lege, a friend of the two males victimized during the incident at the intersection of Royal and Marigny Streets.

Lege said one of the men was beaten so badly with a gun, that he was undergoing a surgical procedure Monday afternoon.

Helen Cassidy walked her dogs Monday afternoon in the Marigny and talked about how her habits have changed as a result of the robberies and other crimes.

"I feel like I need to stay in after dark," she said.

Some residents and business owners are demanding more police patrols. Some also want to see pay for NOPD cops increased as a way to retain current officers, attract new ones and entice former veterans cops to return to the police force.

"We want the city to make it a sweet, honey pot for the cops to come," said Kappa Horn, who owns a restaurant in the Marigny.

She said her restaurant on Dauphine Street was broken into on June 11.

"When I called 911 and reported it, [they] informed me that they were at roll call and no one was able to come out until after roll call, that I would have to wait at least a couple of hours," said Horn.

She and others said officers patrolling Marigny are hard to find.

"We definitely need much more police presence, we rarely see police anymore," stated Cassidy.

"One patrolman and one car for the entire Marigny," said Horn.

The NOPD disagrees. A spokesman said during any given police shift there are 19 to 25 officers assigned to the 8th Police District which includes the French Quarter and Marigny and that two patrol cars are assigned to the Marigny.

He said after the series of robberies, additional officers, including some in plain clothes, were assigned to the neighborhood.

However, frustrated Marigny residents are not convinced they have more protection. They plan to show up in large numbers for the previously scheduled meeting known as NONPACC at the 8th District Station on Thursday.

"It's time so that we can be better protected as a city," said Horn.

Horn said at Thursday's meeting she and others will voice concerns about the pay scale for NOPD officers. She said the city needs to do more to hang on to its veteran police officers. She said if the city can raise police pay it will attract more officers and could entice some former veterans NOPD officers to wear the uniform again.

"Let's get the cops a raise, they deserve it. Let's give them the benefits they want," she said.

Horn doubts the city can hire the officers she hopes to attract this year.

"They're never going to hire the 150. They could raise the NOPD's salaries, then possibly get some of their veteran cops to come back," she said.

Lege would like to see some of the state troopers assigned to the Marigny.

"There is something that we need for the long term as well to curb the crime of the city, but we definitely need patrols in here, now," he said.

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