NEW ORLEANS -- Richard Bullock found his friend blooded on a French Quarter sidewalk Wednesday evening, the latest victim of a beating and robbery in the heart of the historic neighborhood.
"I went down there and he looked like hell. It looked like someone had driven a truck across his face," Bullock said Thursday.
Bullock said he’s didn’t want to name his 52-year-old friend but said he was badly beaten up.
"He had a huge gash and it was swollen, both of his eyelids had gotten tore up. He had a broken nose, cuts and as he’s laying in the emergency room blood kept going in his eyes and he’d have these streaks just coming down constantly,” Bullock said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
New Orleans police said the attack happened about 5:30 p.m. near Gov. Nicholls and Chartres streets.
Police released a photo of the suspect, described as a black man with a thin build and unshaven face. He stands about 5'10", and is about 165 pounds according to police. The man was last seen wearing a dark blue t-shirt, blue jeans, and blue sneakers.
Police said the robber punched the victim in the back of the head and caused him to hit a brick wall before he fell to the ground. The suspect then robbed him.
"I am shaking because of problems. These problems occurring every day," said Evelyn Preuss, a French Quarter resident for 16 years.
The victim’s friends think he was followed. They say he went to a bar on Decatur Street and took out cash at the ATM. They think the suspect followed him from there. And Richard says the scariest thing about this crime is when it happened.
"What's really brazen about it is it’s 5:30 in the afternoon. I mean, we live right here," Bullock said. "This is really shaking everybody up because during the day and on the residential end of the quarter."
Bullock said he never worried before about being attacked but now he does.
"I’ve always looked around when I walk out but now I’m really looking around when I walk out," said Bullock.
Wednesday’s robbery was at least the third similar incident in French Quarter in recent weeks.
On June 24, two men in town as part of a religious convention were attacked from behind and robbed about 9 p.m. in the 200 block of Bienville Street. One victim was hospitalized in critical condition, and police arrested four suspects.
Earlier this week, police received a report from a man who said he was punched in the face and robbed about 6 p.m. June 23 while he walked in the 1300 block of Bourbon Street. Police have not announced a suspect or arrest in that case.