Police search for suspects in brutal French Quarter attack video

Updated: Jun. 26, 2017 at 5:22 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans police are holding a Monday evening press conference to provide an update on the brutal attack of two tourists in the French Quarter.

New Orleans police are on the lookout for as many as four suspects involved in an attack, Saturday night, on two tourists in town for a church convention. One man was knocked unconscious as the attackers took whatever they could. The attack, which occurred on Bienville Street, just steps from Decatur Street, was captured on surveillance.

The video of the attack is stunning. Two unsuspecting tourists hit by severe blindside punches to the head, so four thieves could take whatever they could.

Four suspects, who snuck up on the two men from Boston, are still on the loose, after they knocked one of the two unconscious and rifled through their pockets taking wallets and cell phones. They attacked them behind a large dumpster, to apparently shield the view.

"It's unbelievable they weren't killed," said Steve Dejean of New Orleans. "You have to be careful. It wasn't like it was back in the day."

The victims were left behind, one looking dazed, the other lying motionless as the suspects ran toward the main part of the French Quarter.

"This is a pretty bad attack," said Commander Nicholas Gernon with the NOPD. "We ask anyone who may know these individuals to let us know so we can hold them accountable."

But in spite of perceptions, New Orleans police say this type of crime is down.

"This is not something that has happened in a long time," said NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison. "Violent crime in this area, armed robberies and simple robbery are both down significantly."

Police say they had 50 officers in the Quarter at the time of the crime and police responded in two minutes. But visitors to the Quarter have a different perception.

"Nothing's getting better around here, know your surroundings," said Dejean.

Most say they take precautions.

"Don't go out at night. Stay in lit areas and stay with people. That's about all we can do," said Florida tourist David Stone.

"Watch your surroundings, don't wear flashy jewelry. That's what they are looking out for," said Dejean.

Police believe the surveillance images should help lead to arrests, of one or more suspects.

"We watched, and what we have right now is good," said Harrison. "We're putting it out there to arrest some people."

The Chief says he's also talked with one of the victims, who has been able to provide useful information, that could lead to arrests of suspects who would be charged with second-degree robbery, a crime that would carry with it a 40 year sentence, if convicted.

If you know anything could help police with this case, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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