A man who says he was recently robbed at gunpoint along the Lafitte Greenway is sticking to his story even though police are now questioning what happened. Asking to only be identified by his first name, Sergio says he is determined to warn others about an event that still haunts him.
"I wake up at night hearing the click. I wake up at night in a sweat,” said Sergio.
Monday at about 5:30 p.m. Sergio said he was biking towards the French Quarter when he spotted three men standing by a garbage can on the Greenway near North Gayoso Street. Suddenly, he felt uneasy.
“I started to speed up a little faster, they all lined up in front of me... and told me to get off my bike. They told me to get down on the ground and put my hands on my back. So I did,” said Sergio.
The 40-year-old said the armed men surrounded him and one of them put a gun to his temple, patted him down, took $200, and then his life flashed before his eyes.
“So many things going on in my head. Then he pulled the trigger and I felt the click. I felt the click, I felt the vibration, and I squinted really hard and he laughed and said, 'It must be your lucky day (expletive deleted),'” said Sergio.
Ironically, the area where the victim said he was robbed is right next to a lot where the New Orleans Police Department stores barricades. Sergio said the only nearby camera is right around the corner at a convenience store.
Sergio filed a police report after the mugging at the urging of friends and has answered investigators' questions, even taking a detective out to the scene to show him where the alleged mugging happened. He said he had been cooperative until police asked him to take a lie detector test.
“I was puzzled why I had to take a lie detector test. I didn't commit a crime, I didn't do anything wrong. I was trying to prevent this from happening to someone else,” said Sergio.
Sergio has since retained a lawyer. Eyewitness News first reported the armed robbery when it happened. Posts are being shared on social media about the case, which the NOPD confirmed is still under investigation.
For those who regularly use the Lafitte Greenway the alleged mugging has aroused concern.
“It kinda hits close to home when it’s someone you see walking around, someone you know,” said Austin Yde who regularly uses the trail.
“I just think we need to be vigilant where ever we go in the city. It doesn't matter just here. Anywhere we go,” said Delvon Green, as she enjoyed an evening stroll with her young son.
The robbers in Sergio's case are believed to be in their 20s or 30s with slim to medium builds. They were said to be wearing tee shirts, and dark pants or jeans.
Sergio says he's been mugged twice during his 13 years in the city. He wants to make sure this case isn't swept under the rug.
The NOPD said efforts are being made to protect the public along the Greenway with police car and bike patrols. Police say patrols are beefed up during big events like Bayou Boogaloo.
The Landrieu Administration also confirmed 157 pedestrian lights were installed along the Greenway for added security.