By Amanda Roberts | WVUE | May 10, 2021
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Neighborhood handy man Bert Skidmore can do nothing but shake his head at what brought him to this project.
“It could’ve been a lot worse but like I said what are we going to do about it,” said Skidmore.
He lives just down the way and heard when a police chase ended on North Robertson. A gray dodge truck police say seven teens stole, crashing into his neighbors’ cars and a home, the damage still left behind.
“They were in the crash in the windows trying to pull them out until the ambulance came… That’s a crying shame they’re kids. I said I can’t look at that so I went back inside. You know, remind me of my children. I have teenagers myself,” said Skidmore.
That’s what angers him the most: teenagers he says who should have been taught right from wrong.
“What are they doing back out on the street if they arrested them. What are they doing back out here,” said Skidmore.
“We’re speaking about juveniles, being involved in violent crimes. Juveniles being involved in violent crime that resulted in some serious injuries,” said NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson.
Metropolitan Crime Commission’s Rafael Goyeneche can’t help but note the frustration in the police chief’s words, especially as Ferguson said they arrested some of the teens before the serious crash.
“The superintendent realizes that if the system, if the other components of the system don’t do their job that doomed the police department to have to do their job over and over and over again,” said Goyeneche.
After a weekend of investigating, NOPD says they issued 35 warrants. They found a 16-year-old male was the one who carjacked the truck. They found five cell phones and five firearms including an AR-15 rifle and four handguns. NOPD says three of the firearms were reported stolen from incidents across the city.
“I think the superintendent is advocating for the public saying these are serious offenders. The rest of the system needs to recognize the danger that they posed to the community… maybe if the system has done its job with respect to these car jackers this carjacking may never have occurred,” said Goyeneche.
Left to pick up the pieces though, neighbors are even more frustrated. “You got a put your foot down you got to have a hand on that somethings gotta be done about this,” said Skidmore.
In a statement, District Attorney, Jason Williams says:
“The mass casualties from this past Friday’s incident are an absolute calamity that actually could have been far worse and injured innocent residents. My office is absolutely pursuing the obvious crimes here but we are also examining everything and everyone involved, including the adults in the homes of these young people. As we do in all cases, the DA’s Office will allow the facts and evidence to drive our charging decisions and vigorously pursue justice and accountability. My team will continue to hold these young people accountable as well as any adults who played any role whatsoever in this unfortunate situation.”
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