NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The bicyclist who was allegedly robbed and nearly killed on the Lafitte Greenway hired an attorney after police began to question the truth behind his story, threatening to arrest him for filing a false report.
According to the preliminary report from NOPD, a 40-year-old man was crossing Broad Street on the Lafitte Greenway when three armed men demanded he get off his bike and lay on the ground. One of the suspects searched his pockets and took $200. Another put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, but the weapon didn't fire.
The timing of the alleged robbery, and it's report, are in question though. The victim told police that the robbery occurred just after 5 p.m. and that he went to police immediately, but police say he didn't file a report until 8 p.m. that night, nearly three hours later.
The victim's attorney, Gregory Carter, said the report was filed so late because his client was told to report the crime at a different police station than the one he was originally sent to.
NOPD refutes that claim, stating that the alleged victim reported the robbery at the 8th District station around 8 p.m., but was then told to go to the 1st District station because of the incident's location.
After the initial report was filed, NOPD assigned a case detective to investigate the alleged robbery. According to police, the detective followed up with the victim to hear the facts for himself. He then called the alleged victim the next day to clarify a few details.
During that conversation, the detective asked the victim to take a Voice Stress Analysis test, commonly referred to as a lie detector according to NOPD. The victim then refused to cooperate and told them he would hire an attorney.
Carter confirmed that his client refused to take the test, but says he had good reason. According to Carter, his client felt police were further victimizing him by asking him to take a lie-detector test.
"For whatever reason ... no reason they've released to us ... (the detective) lacked faith in his story," Carter said. "My client has been absolutely truthful. My client doesn't have anything to gain from walking into a police station and telling them he was robbed ... No insurance claim, no celebrity."
According to Carter, the detective threatened to arrest his client if he didn't submit to the lie-detector test, which led him to hire an attorney.
Carter said his client "told NOPD everything and assisted them in every way ... I don't have any reason to believe he is being anything, but truthful and forthcoming."
The case remains under investigation, according to NOPD. Detectives will "follow it where it leads (them)."
If you know anything about this alleged armed robbery, call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.