NEW ORLEANS – Neighbors in Bayou St. John got a rude awakening early Sunday morning, coming outside to discover several of their cars had been damaged by a hit-and-run driver.
Residents said it happened in the 1100 block of North Dupre Street around 2 a.m.
“This morning, I heard a very loud crash and an alarm going off and I realized that something’s going on,” said Jody Depriest.
When Depriest came outside, he found the street littered with debris, and his truck damaged.
“Obviously, the axel is ruined in the back, and I mean, it’s excessive damage at this point,” said Depriest.
Surveillance video shows an unknown car hit the truck, then speed off. Depriest said he immediately called authorities, only to have an officer arrive about six hours later.
The response has brought mixed opinions.
“In a way, this would be like a secondary you know,” said Regina Douvillier, whose car was also damaged. “There are other things out there that are more important and more pressing for the police officers.”
Others say they can’t help but feel disappointed.
“The city has got to stop making excuses as to why they can’t respond more efficiently to situations like this,” said Depriest. “I’m just only one citizen of many who are fed up with how the city is going right now and I’m ashamed.”
With a report filed and surveillance video turned in, the victims are hopeful whoever is responsible will be found.
The New Orleans Police Department provided WWL-TV with a statement Sunday from NOPD First District Commander Hans Ganthier:
“This incident was reported to NOPD at around 2 a.m. and was listed as a Code 1 (routine call) hit and run. Since the perpetrator was not on scene, the report was to be taken at a later time.“During this time, I had instructed supervisors to devote their manpower to the borders of the Eighth District along N. Rampart Street and adjoining side streets, Canal Street, N. Galvez Street and N. Claiborne Street, due to the presence of the large crowds exiting the Essence Festival. Our priority was to deter and prevent armed robberies, auto burglaries and auto thefts within the boundaries of the First District during this event. With the exception of emergency calls, the supervisor held all report calls until the crowds dissipated into the early morning hours. As the number of people diminished from the event, all of the non-emergency calls that were being held were addressed as quickly as possible.“It is unfortunate the report was not taken as quickly as the individual desired, but the incident was addressed as quickly as possible.”