The NOPD is stepping up its presence in St. Roch after two back-to-back attacks in the neighborhood. Residents and police participated in a crime walk Wednesday night to kick off the community's efforts for a safer neighborhood.
The first attack happened Saturday night around 10 p.m. when a man was walking down St. Roch Avenue. The victim passed a group of juveniles holding sticks and what appeared to be small aluminum bats. The juveniles then attacked the man and took his keys. The man was sent to a local hospital for treatment.
The following night at around the same time, 54-year-old St. Roch resident Bill Murphy was walking in the 1300 block of Music Street when he was attacked by a group of juveniles. The juveniles stole a laptop from his backpack. Murphy was also hospitalized.
"The problem I find with it is their hanging out on the neutral ground just before they did this," Murphy said. "They did this the night before. There were no police cruisers out. There's a big question here. What are the police doing? Where's the manpower? We've got to get together as a community and demand more police, and that's why I'm here. I don't want this to happen to anyone else."
The NOPD has increased patrols in the neighborhood after the incidents. Neighbors are also stepping up to the plate to keep their streets safe.
"We need to make sure and check on our neighbors to make sure that they are fine, that they're ok, but then we need to get to know each other," said Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association President Derrick Floyd. "We aren't doing that as we once did in our community."
Murphy hopes that as his injuries heal, so does the neighborhood.
"That's pretty much all anybody wants from a neighborhood is a safe place to live," he said. "If you can't have that, you have nothing."