A man attempted to rob a business near the Lower Garden District Tuesday afternoon, eventually settling for a woman's purse, according to a report from New Orleans police.
The incident occurred about 5:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of Prytania Street, according to a report.
A 20-year-old woman said she was working at the business when a man entered, produced a knife and demanded money, according to the report. The employee and the man got into a physical altercation, at which point he saw another woman's purse and fled the scene, the report said.
In other recent matters involving local law enforcement:
• A 48-year-old man said he was leaving his home in the Milan area when two juveniles robbed him at gunpoint. The incident occurred about 6:44 p.m. in the 1800 block of Peniston Street, according to an NOPD report. The man said he handed over his iPod, and the pair fled on foot.
• One person was arrested after 31-year-old woman reported she was raped near City Park. The incident was reported about 12:27 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Wisner Boulevard and Harrison Avenue. Jail records identified the arrested suspect as Robert Oliver, 44.
Another rape was reported to police about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday in the 2100 block of Pace Boulevard in Algiers, New Orleans police said. The case involved an underage girl reporting that she was sexually assaulted by an unknown male, police said.
• The New Orleans Coroner's Office on Wednesday identified a man slain in a double shooting Monday night as Branden Boles, 25. The shooting occurred at the corner of Piety and North Miro streets in the Upper 9th Ward.
• The New Orleans police's Violent Offenders Warrant Squad on Wednesday arrested suspects in three separate cases involving a shootout, a gun being pointed at someone's face, and both a car and person being struck with a steel pipe.
Orlando Young, 52, was booked with a Dec. 19 shooting at the corner of Washington Avenue and South Rocheblave Street near the so-called Hoffman Triangle in the Central City area. Police said Young and another man reported to separate hospitals for treatment of injuries they sustained during an encounter that erupted outside a bar after Young, the other man and the other man's mother had argued inside.
The encounter escalated into a gunfight between Young and the other man, who noticed he had been shot in the right hip after his gun malfunctioned. Detectives determined Young was the aggressor, and he was jailed on counts of aggravated battery by shooting and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In the second case, Devin Rhinehart, 20, was booked on allegations that he nearly struck a group of people who were walking while he drove near the corner of Burgundy and Piety streets in the Bywater neighborhood on Nov. 27. After one of those people threw a drink at Rhinehart's car, he allegedly stopped, got out of his vehicle and pointed a gun at the drink thrower's face, New Orleans police said.
Women accompanying the victim stepped in front of the victim, and Rhinehart allegedly fled. Police said they arrested Rhinehart after they traced the ownership of the car in question to a home in Slidell, where Rhinehart was. He was booked on counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In the third case, police said they arrested Olisha Dison on allegations that she tried to take the keys out of the ignition of a car in the 2000 block of Benton Street in the Lower 9th Ward before pulling out a steel pipe from her pants leg and using it to hit both the car and the driver. The driver, a man, escaped through the rear of the car, and Dison agot in the vehicle and drove away, police allege.
Police said they later found the vehicle in a nearby empty lot. She was booked on counts of aggravated battery, simple criminal damage to property and theft. Police noted she was on probation for a prior aggravated assault conviction.
Other Violent Offenders Warrant Squad arrests publicized Wednesday involved Michael Williams, 48, being booked on allegations that he threw an ex-girlfriend against a wall on Dec. 22 in the 1900 block of Spain Street in St. Roch and threatened to shoot someone else. Herman Youngblood, 27, was arrested on allegations that he pulled a woman with whom he was arguing out of a car, struck her in her face with her phone and threatened to kill her with a gun on Dec. 26 in the 3600 block of Garden Oaks Drive in Algiers. Wesley Payton, 40, was booked on allegations that he stole copper from a building being renovated in the 200 block of Loyola Avenue in the Central Business District on Oct. 16.
• Kenner police on Wednesday highlighted how they had arrested a man four times since he had been granted parole on Nov. 16. Alton Brooks Jr., 46, of 1710 Rev. Richard Wilson Drive, was most recently taken into custody while shoplifting at the Winn-Dixie on Williams Boulevard on Dec. 29, police alleged.
Brooks pleaded guilty in April as a habitual offender to theft of goods and was given two years in prison before he was paroled under a legislative criminal justice reform package that many law enforcement officials opposed. Police said Brooks never reported to the probation and parole office that was supposed to supervise his release until March 2019.
Brooks had previously been arrested three times between Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 in case involving allegations of theft at a Wal-Mart on Veterans Boulevard, a RaceTrac gasoline station on Airline Drive, and at the same Winn-Dixie as his arrest last month.
Brooks was released after each arrest due to overcrowding at the Jefferson Parish jail in Gretna. Police noted that Brooks' criminal history is 51 pages long.
Proponents of the reform package have said some recidivism is inevitable. Historically, between 40 percent and 50 percent of Louisiana inmates have been booked with a new crime within five years of their release from prison.
But they have said the ultimate goal is to take money away from incarceration and instead dedicate it toward rehabilitation and services to help those released from prison transition back into society. Those services, however, are at least months away from coming online, at least on behalf of the state.
• The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans on Wednesday publicized guilty pleas in several cases.
Sidney Ray Cotton, 32, of Franklinton, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a gun after previously being convicted of a felony. Jill LeBlanc, 41, of Thibodeaux, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $369,000 from her mother's retirement account while holding power of attorney for her terminally ill mother. Kevin Decuir, 23, of Brownsville, Texas, pleaded guilty to a role in a plot to deal more than 28 kilos of cocaine. Ernesto Contreras Reyes, 43, of Mexico, pleaded guilty to illegally using a social security number.
Staff writers Jeffrey Nowak and Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.