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Attempted Lundi Gras armed robbery of New Orleans bar caught on surveillance video

Published: Mar. 5, 2022 at 10:13 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - “The whole weekend was picture perfect. The weather is great. The crowds are great. Everything was. I mean, finally, after two years, and then this happened,” said Tracy Deroche, owner of the Phoenix Bar in Faubourg Marigny.

Deroche remembers getting a frantic call from one of his bartenders, while the sun was still up on Lundi Gras last Monday (Feb. 28).

“I was shocked. There was this kid on a bicycle, and he gets out off the bike, opens the door, and is pointing it at the bartender. And it’s 4 o’clock on Monday. It just blew me away,” said Deroche.

Video surveillance captured a juvenile in a red hoodie getting off a bicycle and walking into the bar. Deroche says they’ve had teens attempt to walk into the bar before, but this one came back to carry out a promise.

“They come in and they say, ‘We’re coming back with a real gun and shooting everyone up’ or shooting the place up,” Deroche said. “So, this time when he came back, he wasn’t on the bike. They (usually) stay on the bike, and they open the door and just start yelling. But this time he got off the bike. And that’s when I guess everybody said, ‘Enough’s enough.’ And he said, ‘Empty out the register.’

“They’ve never done that before. They shoot the water gun and then scramble off.”

He says police quickly made an arrest, but only after the suspect alarmed and confused employees and those inside the bar.

“The bartender was just so shaken up,” said Deroche.

While thankful he installed the security system during Covid-related closures, Deroche said he’s growing tired of constantly checking the system for carjackings, shootings and car break-ins.

“On top of what happened in the last month, a carjacking, a block away. Chewbacchus (parade night), a shooting. Two stolen cars. And it’s all within a two-block area,” Deroche said. “It just kind of put a damper on the rest of the weekend. After it went so well, that was the talk: ‘The Phoenix got robbed, The Phoenix got robbed.’ And, thankfully, he didn’t get any money.”

He says of all times, on Lundi Gras in the middle of the day, it’s a shame his patrons, employees and others had to worry about their safety.

“It’s not the police,” Deroche said. “It starts before the police are involved. It starts at home.”

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