NOPD officers praised for deescalating French Quarter brawl

NOPD officers praised for deescalating French Quarter brawl

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It could have been worse. That's what police and locals keep repeating about a Bourbon Street brawl between tourists and police over the weekend. Five people are now facing charges.

Bob Simms has lived in the French Quarter for about a decade. He says he saw the footage taken from Razoo's security cameras at a neighborhood crime meeting.

"I was totally shocked at how outnumbered the police were plus impressed with how the police officers dealt with that," said Simms.

He says he hopes something will change soon, "its just too many people in too small a space and not enough protection."

The New Orleans Police Department says the fight initially started at the Swamp Bar when the group was kicked out, and then continued fighting in the street.

Two NOPD officers stationed in the block were the first to respond to the brawl. They were met with punches, kicks to the groins, even headbutts.

There was no explanation for why the fight started among the group of out-of-towners.

NOPD Eighth District Commander Nicholas Gernon praised the officers in a briefing today for using de-escalation tactics until backup and state police arrived.

"At this point they're talking them down they're saying it's over we're trying to get her under arrest let her go," said Gernon.

They arrested five total including Patriceia Casher who they say started the disturbance. David Wilson, who NOPD said they were forced to TASE when he ran away from the fight and refused commands to stop. And Alejandro Ford who was looking on from the sidelines with a loaded handgun at his side until the officer took the gun from him, and kept him from entering the fight.

"It's an instant between the time it's by their side to the time they start shooting those officers were really in danger as well as all the citizens out there and those officers really reacted quickly to deescalate the situation to not use their fire arms," said Gernon.

Many applauding the calm work of a couple police officers in what could have otherwise been a very tense situation.

"If that guy started using that weapon we'd be having a different conversation today," said Simms.

The NOPD says they are not looking to arrest anyone else from this incident. One of the officers was checked out at the hospital for a hip injury, but returned back to work the next day.

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