NOPD adds troop strength for a big football weekend

NOPD adds troop strength for a big football weekend

With thousands of football fans pouring into New Orleans for two big games this weekend, police are trying to solve several violent incidents in the French Quarter.

New video reveals the face of a suspect in a Wednesday night stabbing, and police make four arrests after a mugging on Canal Street that occurred at around the same time. Police are now trying to link those four people arrested two nights ago with other high-profile crimes in the Quarter.

New video reveals the closest look yet of a knife-wielding attacker who stabbed a 43-year-old man in the 1700 block of Gov. Nicholls Wednesday night. He was one of eight people involved in the attack, and police are still looking for suspects in that case and in an attack last Thursday night on Dauphine Street.

As police look for suspects, thousands of tourists are now pouring in for Saturday's New Orleans Bowl pitting University of Louisiana-Lafayette against Nevada, and Sunday's key NFC South clash pitting the Saints against the Falcons.

"We're very excited. Glad to be here," said Ginny Sonnier of Lafayette.

This is ULL's fourth straight trip to the bowl, and the fans we spoke with said they've never had a problem.

"No sir, not at all," said fan Erica Sonnier. "I don't walk down the streets alone."

While the Dauphine and Gov. Nicholls attacks remain unsolved, police arrested four people in a Wednesday night attack at Canal and Burgundy streets. Police say at 10 p.m., 19-year-old Abanobi Lawes punched a 46-year-old victim in the face, knocking him to the ground and robbing him. Also under arrest is 19-year-old Raheim Dimes and two juvenile girls.

"Stay on the beaten path, don't make yourself an easy target," said NOPD First District Commander Jeffrey Walls.

But given that the most recent attack happened on Canal - one of the city's biggest and busiest streets, police plan to beef up troop strength for this weekend's games.

"We'll have additional units come in from outside," Wallis said. "We'll have an increase in officers."

The NOPD plans to add 200 officers to the Quarter this weekend, but State Police troopers won't be among them. Instead, they'll patrol the city's interstates.

Visiting football fans say they will be careful.

"We try not to walk down isolated areas and stay cognizant of our surroundings," said ULL fan Mitch Sonnier.

Crimestoppers, at (504) 822-1111 is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest in the unsolved crimes.

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