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VIDEO: Woman escapes attempted kidnapping in the Marigny

Harrowing surveillance video sparks safety conversation among neighbors
A woman was able to escape an attempted kidnapping attempt. (Source: WVUE)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A 34-year-old woman escapes two men trying to kidnap her in the Marigny Thursday night. Surveillance captured every harrowing moment of the 15-second struggle.

The violent imagery may be disturbing to some, but it’s sparking a conversation of safety in a neighborhood where many people walk during off-hours.

“I have mace on me, bear mace, actually,” said one neighbor, Madison Sullivan, who walks everywhere.

Sullivan grew up in Chicago and says she’s used to feeling unsafe but has never had to take this many precautions.

“There’s been a lot of shootings and kidnappings in the neighborhood lately and I definitely don’t feel safe,” Sullivan said. “I get rides home sometimes and switch how I get home so that I can’t be followed.”

There’s no telling if the woman in the video was being followed as she walked down a well-lit, but quiet Dauphine Street just before 11 p.m.

However, you can see a dark gray sedan drive past her and stop just before the intersection of Marigny Street. That’s when the situation takes a horrifying turn.

As she passes, a masked man lunges out of the car and wraps his arms around her, whisking her towards the car. As she tries to fight him, another masked man emerges and joins in the struggle.

She’s, fortunately, able to pull away, as police say, approaching headlights chasing away her attackers.

It’s an eye-opener for some neighbors, but for many like Sullivan, who works in the service industry, this has been a fear for a while.

“Multiple people I work with have a set of tasers and knives to keep themselves safe walking home from work and there’s like a system for people in the service industry to have someone to walk home with,” Sullivan said.

NOPD says there have been two kidnapping incidents so far this year, 30 last year and 26 in 2020. That’s not counting attempted kidnappings like this.

“Lately, I’ve noticed that everyone’s talking about crime. There’s an awareness of it and there’s a fear as well,” Sullivan said. “It definitely has felt like it’s been getting worse lately and you can just tell that by how people are, you know, how scared people are right now.”

NOPD is investigating. No suspects have been identified. Anyone with any information is asked to call NOPD Fifth District detectives at 504-658-6050 or to leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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