Twerking Bourbon Street revelers obstructed first responders en route to help injured man

(Photo by Kassie Hall)
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were seriously injured in the middle of Bourbon Street on a packed Saturday night and needed emergency care?

Well unfortunately this guy found out the hard way. I didn’t see the events leading up to this man lying in the street gushing blood that, ironically, looks like a spilt daiquiri, but I witnessed the response. The incident occurred last Saturday evening, on June 12, as the Bourbon Street crowd capacity was at its peak.

New Orleans Police were on scene and rather quickly began taping the scene off, blocking the street and pushing back the crowd, who obstructed medics in their efforts to provide emergency help from this injured man.

After the cops arrived, a crowd of drunk tourists with Hand Grenades in tote began dancing on the cop cars and gathering around the caution tape to record all the chaos.

Watching from the balcony above I have a perfect view of the ambulance attempting, and failing horribly, to get through the crowd.

Stuck rolling at barely 2 mph trying to split the crowd as the drunk “woo” girls decide to use the ambulance as a balance to twerk on. Unfortunately this has lately been a common occurrence in the French Quarter.

Vehicular and pedestrian traffic keep emergency response vehicles from reaching those in need of critical care quite often.

Disappointed by the lack of empathy and general lawlessness from the crowd, I watched on as the ambulance finally made its way to the man.

He was able to stand to get himself on the stretcher and seemed to be OK aside from a gash on his head.

Just as soon as the police tape came down, the party continued on as if nothing ever happened. The man’s blood pool was left on the asphalt for the street cleaners in the morning.

Restrictions lifted, back to abnormal

Starting this Memorial Day weekend, the restrictions on hours and occupancy have been lifted for bars, restaurants and live music venues in New Orleans. The past few weekends have been busy and we will probably see a great weekend. The weather is excellent and only about a 43% chance of showers on Saturday evening. With the shutdown becoming a thing of the past for now, those who were suffering from cabin fever will be coming out this weekend to see their shadows for the holiday.

Graph from NOLA READY

The state dropped the 1 AM closing rules along with the number of occupants. Posted on line are bunch of graphs and statistics that if any you claimed that you understood them, I would call you a liar. Whatever, can we just go back to earning a living now?

I spoke to the owner of Molly’s on Toulouse, they will be returning back to their original hours prior to the pandemic: 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. until 7 a.m. on the weekends. The outside tables that were added for cafe seating during the initial limited Phase 3 guidelines will probably be kept.

Molly’s on Tourlouse, open Mon-Thu 2 PM-6 AM, Fri-Sat 11 AM-7 AM and Sun 11 AM-6 AM.

There was even speculation for 24 hour operatios on the weekends if business and manpower allowed. Finding workers is a concern for many French Quarter businesses. Trying to entice workers to come back to work at the beginning of the slow season is the challenge. Fat and convenient unemployment benefits is causing a foot drag with the returning workforce.
(Shaddup, you know it’s true.)

Even our supply guy told me that they are busy as hell, and short handed. Nationally there are still many supply line interruptions and suppliers are short stocked as well. Add to this rising fuel costs that will contribute to higher costs for all involved.

Everyone is hoping for the best but don’t really expect it to be exactly like it was before the shutdown. Business owners are holding their breaths waiting for all of the cards to be dealt before they plan how to play them. Customers want to come back to make up for a lost year. Customers are also concerned about the economy and pending inflation as well.

This is the new normal, or new abnormal by a French Quarter metric.

Graph by Quarter Rat

Arrest made in Bourbon Street shooting that injured 5 people; 2nd suspect identified

(Photo: Darran Boykins, left, Dorrell Boykins, right. | NOPD)
A man was arrested on multiple warrants Wednesday and a second suspect was identified in connection to a shooting on Bourbon Street that injured five people last month.

Darran Boykins, 26, pictured left, was located and arrested in Kenner without incident on suspicion of five counts of aggravated battery from the shooting that occurred shortly after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Bourbon Street, according to New Orleans Police.

The arrest was conducted by New Orleans Police’s Violent Offender Warrant Squad and U.S. Marshals, with assistance from the Kenner Police Department.

Boykins was wanted as a suspect in three additional incidents since March, according to New Orleans Police, including a March 20 aggravated assault incident in the 1700 block of Tonti Street on March 20, an assault and kidnapping incident with a firearm in the 1500 block of Numa Street on March 25 and a shooting in the 2100 block of Jackson Avenue on April 24.

Boykins was booked into Orleans Parish Justice Center on suspicion of several charges, including five counts of aggravated battery and a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police have obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Dorrell Boykins who, though an investigation, police identified as a second suspect in the April 25 Bourbon Street shooting.

Anyone with additional information on this incident or on the whereabouts of Dorrell Boykins is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-7867.

Suspect wanted after victim punched from behind on Bourbon Street

(Photo: NOPD)
The identity of a person is wanted in connection to a simple battery incident in which a victim was punched in the back of the head on Bourbon Street last month, according to New Orleans Police.

NOPD said the incident occurred April 28, shortly before 12 a.m., when police believe the suspect attacked the victim with a closed fist in the 700 block of Bourbon Street.

Police released surveillance camera footage of the incident on May 11 and allegedly shows the suspect, who was wearing a black shirt with a “Ride or Die” logo, black pants and a red bandana or cloth tied around his right hand.

Anyone with information regarding the identity and/or whereabouts of the pictured suspect is asked to contact Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-7867. 

The future ain’t pretty

I was speaking to an individual today who has extensive insights into French Quarter businesses. I’ll call him a “very reliable anonymous source.” We chatted about business returning to the Quarter and things returning to our dysfunctional level of normalcy. We noted how many establishments didn’t return from the shutdown and the number of vacant buildings there are. I commented on how I anticipate huge corporate chains to move in and he replied, “They already are.”

According to “my source,” one big player who is looking to expand to Bourbon Street is TACO BELL. My first thought was a fast food joint and I guess I scowled in confusion. Not your average strip mall variant of the fast food chain, he said, but a huge, mega Taco Bell Cantina, like the one in Las Vegas. It’s more in line with the Hard Rock Cafe franchise, which also has a presence on Bourbon Street. I had to look this one up online.

A flagship Taco Bell. A monster location with multi-floors and alcoholic beverages. They even have a gift shop with Taco Bell apparel. I’ll say it right now: if you have Taco Bell printed on your shirt, you better be an employee. I can respect a TB employee. I cringe at the thought of people spending $30 on a T-shirt to advertise a corporation as a status symbol. Dumb asses will collect and wear Hard Rock Cafe shirts, so much for common sense I guess.

Read more: Visit Taco Bell’s Flagship Restaurant in Las Vegas (tacobell.com)

A year ago I predicted after the pandemic and the huge corporations pick through the rubble of destroyed small businesses that the French Quarter will become a Disney outlet. Let me amend that, it may become like a Fremont Street in Las Vegas. This works well with the mayor’s vision of pedestrian mall in the Quarter. The city would love to have large multinational corporations moving in and driving out the few remaining mom-and-pop establishments.

The small businesses whine and complain when license fees, taxes and regulations restrict their operations. Big corporations can absorb those costs and even welcome them. High costs of operations keep out the small time start-ups while allowing them more pull with the city.

Just what I want, Fremont Street. Drunk tourists on a ZipLine screaming past my apartment window every night vomiting alcohol-saturated Krystal burgers onto Bourbon Street below. People on balconies pelting the zip liners with beads and bottles. Think it sounds implausible? One thing we have learned over the past couple of years is: if a massive corporation throws enough money at the right political campaigns, they can get away with killing people.

We don’t know yet how Bourbon Street will change over the next few years, but have no doubt that it will change.

Contact Eric T. Styles at styles@thequarterrat.com.