Holy Cross student made court appearance following brawl

Holy Cross student makes court appearance after brawl

NEW ORLEANS – Holy Cross officials are not releasing any statements regarding the arrests of two of their school athletes after a brawl on Bourbon Street was briefly caught on camera.

One of the students allegedly involved faced a judge for a bond hearing on Tuesday.

Rhett Weidenbacher was surrounded by family and friends as he walked into Criminal District Court in silence.

Already out on bond, Tuesday’s court appearance was brief. The judge denied prosecutors’ request to raise bond, then told Weidenbacher to come back later this month.

“This is a very unfortunate incident that occurred in the French Quarter," Weidenbacher’s lawyer, David Courcelle, said.

Courcelle spoke to media giving some insight as to what happened on Sunday at 4 a.m. near the intersection of Bourbon and Iberville streets.

Courcelle that Weidenbacher and two of his friends were waiting on transportation home when they were approached by three men.

“One of those men decided to use racial slurs to a 17-year-old black male that was with my client,” Courcelle said.

A fight followed which was caught on camera. However, Courcelle says that video seen on the New Orleans Advocate’s website does not show the whole incident.

“What you didn't see was right before that one of the guys punched my client in the mouth, knocked out two of his teeth,” Courcelle said.

Weidenbacher has been arrested and charged with second degree battery before. A police report from March states while at a party, Weidenbacher “got into an argument” and punched someone “several times in the face” causing an “orbital fracture to the eye.”

That charge was dropped just two days before Sunday’s brawl, but the 18-year-old Holy Cross student’s history could still influence how the new case moves forward.

"They're not going to feel lenient towards him the second time. I think that that's going to be a factor when the state decides to screen the case,” Pauline Hardin, WWL legal analyst, said.

Since Weidenbacher was never convicted of that initial second degree battery charge, he’d be considered a first time offender. His classmate, Christopher Collet, was also arrested Sunday and is out on bond facing two counts of simple battery. He will be back in court next month. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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