Stranded drivers robbed, shot on I-10 after car breaks down

What you should do if your car breaks down on the highway, especially in an isolated area

ST. CHARLES PARISH, La. -- Three men were robbed at gunpoint, one of them shot, after their car broke down on I-10 near the Bonnet Carre Spillway early Friday morning.

According to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, three men were working to fix their stalled vehicle on the interstate’s shoulder around 12:48 a.m. when a green Pontiac sedan pulled up behind them. A black male got out of the car and offered to help the stranded men, but they declined. Police say two more black males got out of the vehicle and one of them pulled out a handgun.

The armed man demanded money from the stranded men, who fought back. Police say a brief struggle ensued before the gun was fired into the air and the three stranded men gave up their money, a wallet and a cell phone.

The three robbers got back in their car and fired four shots at the stranded men as they fled the scene. One of the men was shot twice and is currently being treated at a hospital in New Orleans. Police said his wounds are not life-threatening.

Detectives are working to identify the three men who committed this robbery and shooting. The first suspect is described as a black male, about 5’4” tall with a thin build. He’s believed to be in his mid-to-late 20’s and was wearing a gray or black hoodie at the time.

The second suspect is described as a black male, about 5’4” tall with a thin build. He is believed to be in his mid-to-late 20’s and was wearing a brown hoodie.

The third suspect is described as a black male that is much taller than the other two suspects. He is believed to be in his late 30’s to early 40’s and was wearing a red shirt at the time.

While Corporal James Grimaldi with the St. Charles Sheriff department says an incident like this is extremely rare, it's better to be safe than sorry. The Sheriff Department says if your car stalls out the first thing you should do is call the police.

"We get these calls all the time, we'll come out and assist stranded motorists, whether it's changing a tire or just waiting with them until the tow truck comes,” Grimaldi said. “Whatever the case maybe, we don't mind doing it."

Law enforcement say whether you're in a stalled car or walking home at night, it's all about being aware.

"Pay attention to your surroundings and keep your guard up,” Grimaldi said. “It's sad you have to do that but obviously your safety is the number one key priority."

Anyone with information that could help identify these suspects is asked to call Detective Jody Weems at 985-783-1135 or call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-877-903-STOP.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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