20 December 2008
Inmates running the asylum
Those of you that have been following my meandering ramblings on MySpace know that 5 weeks after hurricane Katrina made landfall on Aug,28 2005, that a bunch of us knuckleheads from up here in 'Yankee Land' arrived in 'The Big Easy' to assist with the cleanup and recovery effort.
I had the shock of my life, when I realized that there really are Human Predators. My naivety to this fact was a hard lesson to learn, albeit a quick one ... Situational awareness and constant vigilance was paramount. To this day it is hard to believe how many nights that I fell asleep with at least one pistol in my hand ...
Luckily we met some cool local people, that explained that we were doing exactly what we needed to do in order to survive the predatorial 'flotsam and jetsam' that we encountered ...

The following are some excerpts from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans ...


A 25-year-old woman has slipped into a coma after she was stabbed as many as 10 times during a violent domestic incident Friday in the 7th Ward, according to the New Orleans Police Department.

Investigators say Anthony Davis stabbed the woman nine or 10 times in the upper torso after a shouting match in the 1700 block of North Roman Street turned physical about 10:30 a.m. Friday, a preliminary NOPD report states.

Officers arrested Davis and booked him with one count of domestic aggravated battery, according to a preliminary NOPD report. The report states that Davis is 26.

Wait dude, what?
So if she dies there is no murder charge right?

Despite the extent of her wounds, the woman appears to have fought her attacker. Police said Davis was stabbed once in the head, though the injury appeared minor.

New Orleans EMS paramedics took the victim to University Hospital, where she lapsed into a coma and was in critical condition, according to the report.

Police didn't specify what the two argued about or describe the nature of their relationship.

Relationship? ... Then how do you explain 'aggravated domestic battery'?

And this from saturday ... I blocked out the name

Metairie resident XXXXX, was shot in the head and left to die in a Burger King parking lot in Harvey this morning, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.

A deputy on patrol found XXXXX at about 2:30 a.m. in the 3600 block of Lapalco Boulevard, according to a statement by Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff's spokesman. He was dead by the time paramedics made it to the scene.

The deputy discovered XXXXX after peering inside a running, but parked 2004 Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, Fortunato said. The sheriff's office would not release the name of the restaurant, but early reports indicate it was a Burger King.

The officer found XXXXX lying across the front seat, apparently shot in the head.

This fella was on his work break as a gaming machine repairman, called out to fix a daquiri machine and was not 'aware' of the potential robbery.

And this one from last week is a giant mixed bag of issues that blew my mind ...

The liner crew I ran in the Lower 9th Ward, to remove the houses from the streets was for the most part illegals from South America. They would work all day with hardly any water, little food, and no complaints. I kept a huge cooler of ice water, and a couple of soft drinks for the crew, and someone usually went looking for The Red Cross Salvation Army meal truck around lunch time ... did I mention NO complaints?

For me the illegal alien problem is a double-edged sword, there are those who risk everything for The American Dream, so where do we draw the line?

On the morning a historic snowfall excited thousands of New Orleanians, Porfirio Martinez lost $87 to an armed robber and watched as a good friend was almost killed by the same gunman.

It was the second time Martinez, 35, who moved to New Orleans from Nicaragua in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, has been held up at gunpoint.

Many would pack their bags and try their luck elsewhere after twice being a victim. But Martinez counts himself fortunate to be in New Orleans, even if his apartment is in a 6th Ward neighborhood where he said robbers seem to have free rein.

Martinez, in fact, now regrets he reported the crime.

It came as Martinez was enjoying the wintery landscape that had suddenly blanketed New Orleans. He was strolling in the 300 block of North Olympia Street on Thursday about 11:45 a.m., on his way to buy a soft drink and a snack, when a young man stepped onto the sidewalk from the middle of the street and flashed a .38-caliber pistol.

"Give me your money, " the robber, identified in a police report as 19-year-old Tyrone Hickerson, told Martinez.

Martinez offered, "Are you hungry? Here, take $20 for some food."

"I want all of it, " the robber answered. Martinez took $87 from his wallet and handed it over. The robber warned, "Don't call the police."

Martinez's cell phone rang. Its screen flashed the name of his friend and co-worker, Domingo Estevez. He was calling to say he was a little behind Martinez and would meet him at the washateria. Martinez didn't answer, scared it would agitate the robber.

The robber then strolled away -- in Estevez's direction.

Estevez turned onto North Olympia from Conti Street before Martinez could call to warn him. Police say Hickerson confronted Estevez there, stuck the barrel of his pistol against the man's forehead and demanded money.

Estevez had been holding his jacket flap across his mouth and nose, warding off the cold, so his hand was inches from the robber's gun.

Dropping the jacket flap, Estevez grabbed the gunman's wrist. He yelled to his friend in Spanish: "Porfirio, come help me!"

Martinez ran toward the scuffle. Estevez overpowered the 5-foot, 11-inch, 135-pound robber and lowered the gunman's hand.

Two gunshots suddenly popped. Martinez halted in horror, thinking Estevez was dead.

Estevez, however, remained standing. The police report says Hickerson dropped the pistol and sprinted away.

"Let's go after him, man!" Martinez yelled at Estevez. But a stunned Estevez, who declined comment for this story, ignored his pleas and headed back to the industrial workshop where he and Martinez work, taking the pistol with him. So, Martinez fell into step about half a block behind the now-unarmed robber, who had slowed to a jog.

Martinez dialed 911 and followed the robber to a house in the 600 block of North St. Patrick Street.

Six squad cars arrived in minutes. Martinez waved them down. Detectives and uniformed officers surrounded the house and knocked on the door. They handcuffed the woman who answered it, then stormed into the house, emerging with Hickerson and two other women.

One of them, a middle-age woman, was in a short-sleeve shirt and pajama pants. Martinez said she wore no shoes or socks.

Handcuffed and shivering, the woman stood in the middle of a street lined by newly fallen snow. Crying uncontrollably, the woman screamed, "He's a good boy! He wouldn't do anything wrong!"

Police hauled Hickerson away. He was booked with two counts of armed robbery.

Martinez has been uneasy since the episode. He is upset at the memory of the distraught woman. And he recalled a police officer saying that Hickerson could expect to spend at least 15 years in prison.

Others might want the worst to befall someone who had terrorized them, but Martinez now wishes he had the power to give Hickerson a pass.

"That is a lot of a person's life for less than $90, " he said. "I believe in second chances."

Martinez said he almost expects to be robbed again. About 18 months ago, he was robbed and pistol-whipped on South Miro Street, near his apartment. Like many Hispanic workers, he keeps his cash wages on him, as he saves for wiring money to his wife and two children in Nicaragua.

He considers the threat of crime a price he must pay for the privilege of living in New Orleans. His weekly wage would take him seven months to earn in Nicaragua, where he sold clothes and shoes from a flea market.

Since moving to New Orleans, he has bought a larger home for his family back home, and he can count on his family having food every week. His ability to send money back to Nicaragua makes Martinez willing to be pegged a "walking ATM, " a derisive term used for Hispanic laborers by those who prey on them, police say.

"My family is better with me here, " he said. "I take the robberies in stride."

Good luck with that, buddy ...

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