New Orleans police on Friday had one suspect in custody in a hate crime and were searching for four men in an unrelated beating and robbery of a man.
Both incidents took place in the French Quarter and appeared to be random encounters, police said.
The alleged hate crime, which ended in a scuffle on Canal Street, involved derogatory comments about two men’s race and sexuality, police said.
The beating happened about 4:30 a.m. Oct. 11 in the 800 block of St. Louis Street and involved four men.
A video of the incident released by police shows one man bumped into the victim and trailed him for a few feet before shoving him up against the wall of a bar. Moments later, the man hoisted the victim up and slammed him into the street.
After he was on the ground, the man and two accomplices began to beat the victim and rummage through his pockets.
One of the men pulled out a pistol and pointed it at the victim’s head as two women stood by and watched, with one appearing to smirk before sauntering away.
Police said the men left with the victim’s wallet and a gold watch valued at more than $10,000.
After the beating, police spoke with 23-year-old Bruce Jones, who said he tried to help the victim by returning his wallet. Officers interviewed Jones on the scene but released him due to a lack of evidence linking him to the crime. The victim was not able to identify Jones as a suspect because of the injuries he had suffered.
On Friday, though, police obtained a warrant for Jones’ arrest for armed robbery after surveillance video appeared to show him taking part in the robbery.
Sgt. Ernest Luster, an 8th District detective, said police do not believe Jones took part in the beating, so he will not face battery charges.
Luster said Jones frequents parts of the French Quarter but has eluded police so far. The other three suspects remain unknown and at large.
On Friday, police arrested one man suspected of taking part in a hate crime and simple battery.
A 21-year-old man and a 40-year-old man were walking on Bourbon Street about 4 a.m. Friday when two men deliberately bumped into them, police said. At that point, the men began to yell derogatory names about the victims’ race and sexuality, Luster said. He said one of the victims was black and one was Hispanic.
The victims continued to walk on Bourbon toward Canal Street. They later ran into the two men again in the 900 block of Canal, at which point a fight among the four began.
The men continued to yell derogatory statements at the victims during the fight, police said.
An Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputy who was working a paid detail nearby rushed to the scuffle.
He was able to apprehend 22-year-old Dustin Daquin, who was booked on two counts of simple battery and two counts of a hate crime.
He remained jailed Friday night. Bail was not immediately set.
The second man fled and remained unknown Friday evening, Luster said. He was last seen wearing a light blue shirt and dark-colored shorts.
Anyone with information about the unknown attackers in either case or the whereabouts of Jones is asked to call 8th District detectives at (504) 658-6080.
Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.