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NOPD seeks three for questioning in CBD drifting as incidents become more prominent and widespread

Residents say 7th Ward intersection blocked most nights of the week
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - NOPD says it’s identified three men wanted for questioning in a drifting incident that shut down a section of the Central Business District in February.

This comes as some local residents say the incidents are becoming too frequent and widespread.

“My biggest fear that someone’s gonna get killed out here, you know, I mean, you’re laying in the street, you’re doing donuts around them, you know, they doing it on the interstate, you’re holding up traffic, someone is going to get hurt,” a 7th Ward resident said.

This 7th Ward resident asked to remain anonymous to avoid the crowds she sees gather at the three-way intersection of St. Bernard, Annette, and Henriette Delille, where you can see the scars on the pavement of what happens most nights of the week.

“They’re [NOPD] chasing them from one end of the city to the other,” she said. “They chase them from Claiborne under the bridge and they come here. They chase them from here, they ended up in the East, they chase them from the East, they end up downtown.”

Residents tell us it’s happening everywhere and NOPD is working to find the drivers.

Remember the viral video of drivers shutting down an intersection in the CBD back in February? They were drifting while hanging out of the cars and one person was holding an assault rifle.

Now, police are searching for Taji Hasty, John Esler, and Adson Ribeieo as persons of interest because investigators say they own some of the vehicles involved.

“They have shown that they’re gonna do it whether you allow them to do it or not, so open up Almonaster back, any part of Almonaster back there,” she said. “They used to drag race back there two years ago. Let them have at it. That’ll clear the streets up.”

She says NOPD does come through to clear them out and the drifters speed off through the residential streets, but sometimes return maybe a half-hour later.

She says it stops traffic as well.

A local musician told us off-camera he had to cut his set short at one of the bars because they essentially were gassed out of the bar by the smoke and fumes and the noise was unbearable.

For this resident, safety is the biggest concern. She says she’s witnessed a close call. She says she saw a kid on the ground taking a video of the cars when one hit him. She says he was alright and got right back up, but next time could be tragic.

“We got homes, we got kids here. What happens when the tire blows? Then you have no control of a car with a blown tire and you’re just spinning, going in circles and circles,” she said. “I would hate to see someone lose a child behind foolishness, you know, just because you decide this is what you want to do to have fun today.”

That resident tells us the orange and white barrier you see in the middle of the intersection showed up this morning.

It seems to be some sort of deterrent.

Anyone with any information on any of these incidents is asked to call detectives or Crimestoppers.

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