NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It was just after midnight when a man attacked a tourist walking near Kerlerec and Henriette Delille. Police say the man tried to grab the woman's purse and then began beating her.
"My girlfriend heard the ordeal first and she freaked out and said, 'Baby, something is happening.' So as she opened the door, I heard these really high-pitched screams. I'm thinking this was a little girl," said the witness.
He said the screams were dreadful, and he knew he had to act.
"I sprung up ready for action. I came outside and then I see this man toppling over this woman. She's screaming bloody murder. I could tell it was going down. At that point, I let my anger and protective nature take over," the witness said.
He said it looked like the man was trying to kill the woman.
"He was over her," the witness said. "He was strangling the life out of this poor girl. It was such a desperate, disgusting thing."
The witness said he started yelling at the attacker to stop and back away.
"I came really close to physically engaging him, and he got the message loud and clear and took off," the witness said.
He said the victim was traumatized. She told him it was her first night in New Orleans.
"Actually, she had a phone in her hand. I could see the navigator app open. She was way off track, too," the witness said.
"We also have tourists here who don't understand the kind of neighborhood they're in," said resident Brandi Boyd.
Boyd said her Seventh Ward neighborhood is in transition, and she's surrounded by short-term rentals.
"All of this and all of this is Airbnb," Boyd said, pointing in different directions. "All down the street, or either Airbnb or part time, so we don't have a solid group of residents here."
She said tourists are always traveling through the neighborhood.
"Attached with that are some people with addiction problems and homeless people who are wandering through the neighborhood," Boyd said.
The Good Samaritan who jumped in to save the tourist is a musician who has a special love for the place he calls home, but he said no one should let their guard down.
"Especially if you don't know the climate and the culture. There's a duality in New Orleans. There's a lot of beautiful things happening, but there's desperation, hunger and suffering. Because of that, there's a lot happening, and people who come out here don't see that at first," he said.