Capt. Anthony Caprera promoted to lead NOPD 8th District; ex-station chief demoted

A New Orleans Police lieutenant with the 8th District was promoted to the rank of captain on Friday and will now lead the station as its new commander.

Capt. Anthony Caprera (pictured left), who is now in charge of the 8th District, was promoted from lieutenant during a private ceremony in Superintendent Shaun Ferguson’s office on Friday, according to New Orleans Police.

Additionally, Capt. Preston Bax, formerly a lieutenant and assistant commander with New Orleans Police’s 4th District, was promoted to captain and commander of the 6th District during the same ceremony.

The ceremonies were held separately and in private in order to practice social/physical distancing measures to stop coronavirus spread, the New Orleans Police said.

NOPD 8th District officer dies after battle with coronavirus

Caprera takes on responsibility for the district, which includes the French Quarter, the Central Business District and parts, other parts of downtown and a portion of the Marigny.

Caprera replaced his former boss, Lt. Octavio Baldassaro (pictured right), who was demoted from captain following an undisclosed and ongoing internal administrative investigation conducted by the Public Integrity Bureau, New Orleans Police said.

Baldassaro was previously investigated for an excessive force incident in which he was filmed throwing a woman to the ground while arresting her for fighting during French Quarter Festival in 2019, but was later cleared of wrongdoing, according to The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate.

Two men allegedly found in possession of handguns after plainclothes detectives watch them roll blunts on Bourbon Street

Jeffrey Whitson, left, and Dominique Breaux, right. Courtesy of the NOPD.

Two men on Feb. 8 were arrested on marijuana and gun charges in separate Bourbon Street incidents after plainclothes detectives allegedly witnessed them rolling blunts, according to New Orleans Police.

The first incident occurred at about 12:19 a.m. on Feb. 8 when Eighth District Task Force plainclothes detectives were patrolling in the 800 block of Bourbon Street and allegedly observed Dominique Breaux, 21, placing green marijuana into an opened cigar, New Orleans Police said.

As detectives attempted to detain Breaux, he fled the scene and was later apprehended three-quarters of a mile away in the 700 block of Common Street in the Central Business District, police officials said.

Detectives allegedly confiscated marijuana from Breaux’s hand and concealed handgun inside his shirt, New Orleans Police said.

Further investigation revealed that Breaux is a convicted felon, according to police.

Breaux was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center on charges of illegal carrying of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm or concealed weapon and illegal possession of marijuana.

The second incident occurred at 11:02 p.m. in 400 block of Bourbon Street where Eighth District Task Force detectives allegedly observed Jeffry Whitson, 21, placing green marijuana into an opened cigar, New Orleans Police said.

Detectives approached Whitson and smelled marijuana, prompting a search, New Orleans Police said.

A handgun was allegedly found tucked into Whitson’s waistband and concealed with his shirt, according to New Orleans Police.

An additional clear plastic bag containing marijuana was allegedly found in Whitson’s possession, New Orleans Police said.

Whitson was arrested and booked into the Orleans Parish Justice Center on charges of illegal carrying of a firearm and illegal possession of marijuana.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact NOPD Eighth District detectives at 504-658-6080.

Zulu, Endymion parades rerouted around French Quarter due to Hard Rock collapse

Zulu parade in 2013. Photo: Derek Bridges | Flickr CC

The 2020 parades for the krewes of Zulu and Endymion will be rerouted around the French Quarter due to the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, a New Orleans city spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Routes for Endymion and Zulu were modified this Mardi Gras season for public safety reasons due to the hotel collapse, said spokeswoman LaTonya Norton.

The Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed on the morning of Oct. 12, killing Anthony Magrette, 49; Quinnyon Wimberly, 36; and Jose Ponce Arreola, 63.

An evacuation zone that prohibits public from passing through includes several streets surrounding the hotel, including the corner of North Rampart and Canal streets, which were traditionally part of the Zulu and Endymion parade routes.

This year’s Endymion parade route, which begins at City Park and Orleans avenue, will pass down Canal Street but hook a right down Elk Street, continue to Poydras Street, then turn left and continue to wind its way through the Central Business District until it reaches Julia Street and Convention Center Boulevard.

Zulu’s parade, which begins at Claiborne and Jackson avenues, will make its way to St. Charles Avenue and turn left on Poydras Street, then right onto Loyola Avenue and continue past Canal Street, completely avoiding the French Quarter.

The parades for Endymion and Zulu begin at 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 8 a.m. on Feb. 25, respectively.

Maps for the modified routes are available on

Residents and visitors are also encouraged to text MARDIGRAS to 888777 to receive updates on parade schedules, transportation impacts, public safety, and weather information directly from the city.