In New Orleans, two violent attacks have taken place recently, and both were caught by surveillance cameras. The New Orleans Police Department is investigating the attacks, which happened within 24 hours of each other. Now, police know that some of the suspects were staying at a local youth shelter.
According to the Times-Picayune, three of the four suspects involved in the violent beating and robbery of two men on Bienville Street were staying at a youth shelter in the French Quarter. Jim Kelly, the executive director of Covenant House, confirmed that the men had stayed there within the last month.
Twenty-one-year-old Dejuan Paul stayed at the shelter for close to a month, but he left Covenant House on Monday to turn himself in to the police. Eighteen-year-old Joshua Simmons returned to the shelter on Monday evening and let the staff know he wanted to turn himself in for his role in the crimes.
The third suspect who was staying at the shelter is still at large, according to the NOPD.
Horrific Attacks on Tourist in New Orleans https://t.co/cTbtrmm8cz
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Jim Kelly said that Paul felt true remorse while letting the staff know that he wanted to surrender to the authorities.
“He was apologetic. We prayed with him then we called the police and they came out. They were very professional and they escorted him off. Joshua, sadly is a follower. He made a horrible mistake. The other two who committed the violence were troubled kids with mental health issues.”
The two attacks were caught by surveillance cameras, and the footage has been making the social media rounds over the last couple of days. Police have been hoping that someone saw the attacks or knew someone involved and could help provide information.
The two men who were assaulted and robbed in the Bienville Street case have been identified as James Curran and Tim Byrne, staff members with the Unitarian Universalist Association. The organization has been holding a national religious conference in New Orleans.
Curran was treated for some minor injuries and released from the hospital. As of Monday morning, Byrne was still in critical condition, but it was reported that he had been doing better.
As reported by WDSU, the second attack took place near Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Chris Meyere works at a hat shop near the location of the attack, and the surveillance camera at his business captured the video of a man being attacked from behind.
“You see a guy kind of following him, kind of chasing him, he is kind of jogging. All of a sudden, he kind of just sucker punches him right behind him, doesn’t see it coming. Drops to the ground, the guy tries to get back up, hits him again.”
On Tuesday, the New Orleans Police Department still was not clear if the two attacks were related.
The police are still investigating both of the horrible attacks in New Orleans and working to apprehend the other suspects. If not for the attacks being caught on camera, it is possible that the crimes may have gone unpunished. Once the videos were shown to the public, some of the men from the youth shelter felt it best to turn themselves in, and there is still hope from the NOPD that the others will do the same.
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]