Attorney for Holy Cross student says his client is victim of possible hate crime

Graphic Language: Video of alleged French Quarter incident involving two Holy Cross athletes
Christopher Collett, 18 (FOX 8)
Christopher Collett, 18 (FOX 8)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The attorney for a Holy Cross student accused of knocking out another man in a French Quarter brawl said his client was simply trying to defend a friend.

Rhett Weidenbacher and Christopher Collett, who play sports at the school, were with another friend in the 200 block of Bourbon St. early Sunday morning waiting for an Uber, the attorney said.

He said a man came up to the group and started using racial slurs, calling Rhett and Christopher "n***** lovers" because their friend is black.

A melee ensued.

A video shows Weidenbacher with his hands down, trying not to get in a fight, his attorney said. But he was hit by the man, who knocked two of the suspect's teeth out.

He said he then saw the man attempting to take another swing at their friend. That is when he swung back and knocked the man to the ground.

The attorney said the Holy Cross students were arrested for simply trying to help out their friend. He believes the man who was knocked unconscious was trying to incite a fight and might even be a hate crime.

Weidenbacher and Collett were charged with battery. Both have bonded out of Orleans Parish Prison.

The alleged victim's mother said her son could get out of the hospital on Tuesday. He is 33 and from Joplin, MO. She hopes he makes a full recovery.