NEW ORLEANS - Just days before he is accused of shooting and killing a New Orleans police officer, a suspect on parole on a battery conviction punched an Orleans Parish deputy during a shoplifting attempt, a report by Ramon Vargas of The New Orleans Advocate says, citing court records.
Darren Bridges was on parole until June 2018 on a second-degree battery conviction, according to the article. He was booked in the punching incident on Wednesday. He is already under arrest in the killing of Officer Marcus McNeil.
Vargas said the new details suggest that if Bridges been caught after punching the officer, he would have been in jail on a parole violation instead of on the streets, where he ended up shooting Officer McNeil.
Court records obtained by Vargas, showed that a loss prevention officer at the Walmart on Bullard said he saw Bridges and another woman stuffing merchandise into a backpack they had taken off of a store shelf. They paid for other items, but were walking to the exit when store staff stopped the pair. They apparently said they would go to the loss prevention office to resolve the matter.
Records showed that Bridges tried to run from the scene by shoving a deputy and that when the deputy tried to grab him, he punched him in the face and ran.
A few days later, Bridges was confronted by Officer McNeil and other officers. Police tried to stop Bridges, for reasons that are still uncertain, and McNeil used a Taser on Bridges, who fired and hit McNeil, fatally wounding him.