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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEWORLEANS -- An alleged drug deal gone wrong for one Central City father.

Police say the 30-year-old man tried selling crack while holding his one-year-old son. The drug bust unfolding in a community where four kids were killed in the last four years.

One community group in the area is working to curb what some call the generational cycle of crime.

Where 'Stop the Violence' signs are plastered on utility poles on almost every block, police say a Central City father sold seven rocks of crack cocaine in the 2000 block of LasalleStreet. The NOPD says 30-year-old Louis Harris dealt the drugs holding his one-year-old in his arms.

'When you involve your infant child with you, or if you involve your brothers and sisters who are younger then you, not only does it demonstrate the reprehensible nature of that kind of decision by the young men and women that make those choices,' said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

'We live in a horrendously economically depressed area. There are not many opportunities at all for our young men. Christmas is coming,' said APEX Youth Center Executive Director Rev. Lisa Fitzpatrick. The facility is a few blocks from where Wednesday's drug deal went down.

The center tries to reach out to parents like Harris and their kids by teaching teens and young adults parenting skills and how to de-escalate situations that can lead to violence. Their goal is to show youth other alternatives to crime and selling drugs on the street.

'We work with job training, we work with life skills, we work with social skills. All of those skills are necessary to improve your own economic situation,' said Fitzpatrick.

As young kids, by choice or circumstance, continue to get caught up in criminal activity across New Orleans havens like APEX serve as a silver lining.

'Do you know that there are tens of thousands of kids in our community who are growing up in very, very desperate conditions who never make a choice to be a criminal, who never make a choice to hurt anybody else?,' said Serpas.

Harris was booked into the Orleans Parish Jail charged with distribution of crack cocaine and cruelty to a juvenile. His son was released into the custody of a family member.

To read more about this story visit our partners at Uptown Messenger.com

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