NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Two teenagers were attacked and robbed while riding their bikes in separate incidents in New Orleans Saturday afternoon (April 20), according to New Orleans police.
Around 4 p.m., a 13-year-old girl was riding her bike in the 1400 block of Milton Street in the St. Bernard Area, when a young man allegedly hit her in the face, knocked her off her bike, and then took off with it, according to a preliminary NOPD report.
Two friends who live on the street -- Devin Sherman and Roosevelt Akmin -- said they are dumbfounded over the robbery.
It’s something I cannot believe. I don’t see a reason behind it," Akmin said. “Something as simple as a bike. You shouldn’t go so far as taking it from a kid. She could be traumatized by that situation.”
But, the girl was not the only teen dealing with trauma and a stolen bike that day.
About 45 minutes before she was attacked, a 16-year-old boy was shot riding his bike through the Hollygrove neighborhood, a preliminary NOPD report states. The boy was near Forshey and Leonidas streets when the suspect allegedly tried to pull him off his bike, according to police.
When he failed to do so, police said the suspect then shot at the teen, striking him three times. As of Sunday evening, the boy was listed in stable condition at the hospital.
A resident in the St. Roch neighborhood told FOX 8 about similar instances in his neighborhood. NOPD confirmed two reports within the last month in which cyclists were knocked from their bikes, which were subsequently stolen.
Jakob, another St. Roch resident who declined to give his last name -- was surprised to hear about the attacks. As a person who relies on his bike to get from point A to point B, the news was unsettling.
“I only cycle, I don’t have a car, don’t really take public transportation,” Jakob said.
He said the crimes serve as a reminder to stay constantly aware of your surroundings.
“You see people cycling with headphones in or on the phone, texting. And there’s a sense you should certainly be more vigilant," Jakob said.
For longtime New Orleans residents Sherman and Akmin, the attacks are more of a motivation to fight back against crime in their city.
“We have to stop the violence towards each other,” Sherman said. “We have to come together as a team, as a community to do something better.”
Intital suspect details differ between reports and as of Sunday, it was unclear whether or not they are related.