Bywater robbery victim says prosthetic leg may have saved her

Bywater robbery victim says prosthetic leg may have saved her

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Bywater woman says her prosthetic leg may have saved her after she was pepper-sprayed, tased and robbed outside her home.

It was one of two robberies within a half-hour Thursday night where all of the victims suffered similar attacks. New Orleans police said as many as four robbers struck in Marigny and Bywater beginning at around 8 p.m.

"I just went to Walgreens and was walking from my car," said one of the victims.

In the first robbery, a Marigny man was pepper-sprayed and zapped with a stun gun, and then robbed of his Honda in the 2400 block of N. Rampart Street.

"I just thought they jacked him. I didn't know they tased him or pepper sprayed him," said neighbor and friend Eddie Ward.

The victim's Honda had an electronic ignition and the engine shut down just a half-block away.

"It's scary at night. I don't walk at night," said Marigny resident Luis Mendina.

While they're relieved their neighbor is OK, residents in the block said crime is a near-constant companion.

"In the last 47 years, I've had my cars broke into 10 times and nothing's been found," Ward said.

Thirty minutes later in the Bywater,  police believe the same group of robbers struck about a mile away at Pauline and Royal streets.

"They got frustrated, started punching me," said the Bywater victim, who said she was also pepper sprayed and tased 10 times because "It wasn't a good stun gun."

She said one of the two women in the group of robbers appeared to be the ringleader.

"She was saying, 'Grab her car keys, grab her car keys.'"

The kicker is that the victim said her prosthetic foot may have saved her life.

"One guy was over me and I kicked him in the (groin), as hard as I could, and he fell backwards," she said.

And she has this word of warning for other would-be robbers.

"Don't mess with a girl from New York with a titanium leg," she said.

The robberies occurred while Muses was rolling Uptown.

"At least they didn't have a gun and nobody got shot," said Mendina.

Residents worry that there aren't enough police to protect their neighborhoods, and parade routes.

"Maybe another 800 to a thousand police officers would be better," said Ward.

In the meantime, the Bywater victim worries that the robbers are still on the loose.

"They were on a mission. They will do it again," she said.

The victims are a bit battered and bruised but otherwise okay. The robbers got away with cash and cell phones, but no cars.

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