NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Cardell Hayes' attorney maintains his client called 911 to report a hit and run that he said happened just minutes before Hayes rear-ended Will Smith's SUV.
"My client also called 911, and while he's on the phone is when the three-car accident occurred," attorney John Fuller said.
A review of the NOPD's 911 data log, however, shows no record of a call made to report a hit and run in the Lower Garden District.
Surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 placed the location of the possible hit and run at Magazine near St. Andrew Street, just blocks away from where Smith was killed.
Hayes' attorney said Hayes was not the aggressor and suggested the earlier 911 call would help to prove that.
"Well, Cardell Hayes pulled over like most people do after they have accidents in an effort to exchange information with the vehicle that struck his. The vehicle sped off, and my client sped off to get information, to call the authorities to alert them to the accident. Unfortunately, a three car pileup occurred as a result of it," Fuller said.
A time stamp on the video from the 2000 block of Magazine Street shows it happened at 11:21 p.m. We looked at 911 calls for service from 11 p.m. through 11:30 Saturday night and found 27 calls. Two of the calls were for a traffic incident, one from Tchoupitoulas and Calliope streets and the other from Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Charles Ave.
There were no calls from the 2000 block of Magazine.
Fuller said it's possible Hayes dialed 911, but didn't actually get to report anything before he rear-ended Smith.
"So he didn't actually talk to a 911 operator, but we're hoping that the incident was recorded when the operator picked it up," Fuller said.
Now, he's waiting on phone records from Hayes' phone and the phone of the passenger with Hayes that night.
The NOPD said even if a call isn't answered by an operator, as long as a connection is made, the call is logged.