Drugs, prostitution plague 7th Ward park and playground

Hidden among the brightly colored slides and basketball court at Hunter's Field you'll find open drains, used needles and even used condoms.

NEW ORLEANS -- Hidden among the brightly colored slides and basketball court at Hunter’s Field you’ll find open drains, used needles and even used condoms.

One of the park’s neighbors, Rudolph Dupart, says the playground has become a hangout for drug addicts and prostitutes.

“You’ve got people in City Hall who don’t give a damn,” Dupart said. “I’ve got a grandson. I’m not going to let him come over here!”

That's not because of the condition of the playground equipment, it's because he says goes on in the park.

“You’ve got drug use, you've got prostitution, you've got a little bit of everything,” Dupart said.

Hunters field is a city owned property that was refurbished and had a playground added for the children of the 7th Ward. Now, with rampant drugs, prostitution, and dangerous open drains Dupart encourages people to keep their kids away.

"Somebody could fall in there and cripple themselves or kill themselves,” Dupart said, standing over an uncovered drain. “That's ridiculous."

There are about ten drains we counted around the park that are just completely open. Dupart believes if a child went chasing after a loose ball, they could easily end up at the bottom of one.

Dupart took the problems plaguing his neighborhood to the attention of Councilwoman Stacey Head, who was appalled at what she saw.

“It’s one of the worst situations that I've heard of in years,” Head said. "The play equipment is actually being used as a bathroom. The swings are actually covered with human feces."

Now, she wants to some serious change

"I'd like to see a marshalling of resources that our mayor has shown that he can pull together,” Head said. "With the health department, with parks and parkways, with sanitation, pull in metropolitan since we have mental health and substance abuse issues, NOPD, regularly clean the park."

Things Dupart wants sooner, rather than later.

“They’ve got to do better than this,” he said. “All the way from the police department, to the politicians, they've got to do better than what they're doing."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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