Four men and a woman landed in jail after a brawl with New Orleans police on Bourbon Street over the weekend, leaving two officers injured and one of the suspects shocked with a stun gun, authorities said Wednesday.
Police said one of the arrested men pulled out a gun but didn’t use it during the wild melee that erupted outside The Swamp bar about 11 p.m. Saturday.
At a news conference, police brass showed two surveillance video clips of the incident, holding it up as evidence of the effectiveness of the violence de-escalation training given to officers as part of a six-year-old federal reform pact for the Police Department.
Can't see video below? Click here.
Even though two policemen were attacked and an illegally concealed gun was brandished as other officers came to help, none of the suspects was killed or even injured seriously, Superintendent Michael Harrison said.
“They (kept) their cool even as the crowd” that night antagonized them, said Police Cmdr. Nicholas Gernon, who’s in charge of the police district that includes the French Quarter. “This is what these de-escalation techniques look like.”
According to records filed in Criminal District Court, problems started when police officers Lee Berry and Matthew McKoan approached Patriceia Casher, 26, as she caused a disturbance in the 500 block of Bourbon.
Casher and a 27-year-old man, Kyle Stallworth, punched Berry after the officer was knocked to the ground and struggled to regain his footing, police said. Casher also allegedly kicked both Berry and McKoan in the groin as she was handcuffed.
David Wilson, 26, then shoved and head-butted McKoan in a bid to free Casher, police said. He allegedly tried to flee and ignored commands to stop until an officer on horseback, Christopher Eymard, made his way through a large crowd to stop Wilson by shocking him with a stun gun.
A third man, 21-year-old Trumaine Holmes, had also punched McKoan while the officer helped handcuff Casher, the police account said.
Court records said officers initially didn’t see Holmes’ attack, which occurred on a street that was packed from sidewalk to sidewalk with Saturday night revelers.
But Sgt. Sam Dupre noticed the attack later when reviewing footage from a surveillance camera belonging to nearby Razzoo’s Bar, and Holmes also was taken into custody, police said.
Police said a fourth man — 23-year-old Alejandro Ford — pulled a gun out of his waistband during the fight and, alarmingly, stood behind officers for a time. Officer T.J. Johnson noticed Ford tuck the weapon back into his waistband and, with the help of colleagues, confiscated the gun.
Investigators said they determined Ford did not have a permit for the gun, which he also had inside The Swamp, violating a law that prohibits carrying firearms in drinking establishments.
Officers booked Casher, Stallworth, Holmes and Ford into New Orleans’ jail on various counts, court records show. Casher, who is accused of hitting two officers, faces the most counts, including battering and resisting police.
Police said they took Wilson, the one who was shocked, to the hospital before bringing him to jail.
All of those arrested were part of a group of about 15 people from Mississippi and Florida who had arrived in New Orleans on a party bus, Gernon said.
While Gernon said he wasn’t sure what provoked the fracas, WWL-TV reported that witnesses saw tensions boil over when Casher was thrown out of The Swamp.
Despite their injuries, McKoan and Berry were in good condition by Monday, police said.
WWL-TV reporter Katie Moore provided information for this report.