Suspects named in double murder, and other New Orleans area police news

Suspects named in Harvey double slaying

Jefferson Parish sheriff’s investigators have arrested one man and continue to search for another who left an interview with detectives about a double slaying earlier this week in Harvey.

On Tuesday night, Jeremy Coleman, 19, of Waggaman, was dropped off at West Jefferson Medical Center to be treated for a gunshot wound. He gave investigators “several” different stories about how and where he was shot, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

Detectives were able to disprove each of those stories, Fortunato said, and Coleman was booked with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Nikiayn Westerfield and Dave Harrison.

Coleman remained in the hospital on Friday, Fortunato said.

Homicide Detective Gary Barteet was able to identify Irvin Harris, 20, of Harvey, as the person who dropped off Coleman at the hospital. Coleman and Harris arrived at the hospital in a 2008 GMC Envoy registered to Coleman’s mother.

Deputies found the sport utility vehicle in Metairie on Thursday night with Harris in it. He agreed to be interviewed and told detectives Coleman dropped him off at a friend’s home in Harvey and then returned a short time later with a gunshot wound. At that point, Harris said, he drove Coleman to the hospital.

Harris left the interview when investigators left the room to compare their notes with other information, Fortunato said.

Harris is wanted for two counts of second-degree murder because of inconsistencies in his story, Fortunato said.

Westerfield and Harrison, who were students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, were shot to death about 11:58 p.m. Tuesday in what appeared to be a drug-related shooting.

Investigators found the two inside a Chevrolet Blazer in the 4000 block of Paige Jeanette Drive. They were dead on the scene.

Anyone with information about this case or who might know the whereabouts of Harris is asked to contact Barteet at (504) 364-5300 or Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Woman kidnapped from hotel; child left behind

A woman was beaten and kidnapped from a Central Business District hotel early Friday, leaving a 6-year-old child behind, New Orleans police said.

About 4:50 a.m. a man and woman got into an argument in the lobby of a hotel in the 300 block of Loyola Avenue.

Surveillance footage shows the man drive away after putting the woman, who appears to be unconscious, into a car parked in front of the hotel. Another woman is seen in the video, though she did not participate in the attack. She is believe to have been with the man and woman, police said.

Police found a 6-year-old boy inside of a hotel room that was rented by the man or one of the women. Police made contact with a woman who has claimed to be the boy’s mother, but she has not cooperated with investigators.

The boy was not injured.

Anyone with information about the incident or the man’s identity is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.

N.O. police investigate rape in French Quarter

New Orleans police are investigating a rape reported Thursday evening in the French Quarter.

About 6:40 p.m., an unknown man forced a 46-year-old woman into the back of a car at Bourbon and Iberville streets and sexually assaulted her, according to a daily police log.

Police did not release any other information on the incident and did not provide a description of the man.

Bond in dead-dog case set at $100,000

A St. Bernard Parish judge on Thursday set bond at $100,000 for an Arabi man arrested after deputies found dozens of dead puppies and three dogs in his refrigerator and freezer.

Juan Toledo, 52, was arrested late Tuesday night and booked on 32 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after the grisly discovery of 29 puppies — some only weeks old — and three dogs, possibly German shepherd mixes.

He remained jailed Thursday, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

None of the animals had obvious signs of trauma, and Toledo said he did not kill them, Pohlmann said.

He was arrested on the suspicion that he committed acts that killed the puppies and dogs or otherwise neglected them, Pohlmann said.

“It’s possible they were malnourished, simply not fed,” Pohlmann said.

Toledo had been out of jail on a $50,000 bond for an unrelated arrest on July 1 in which he was booked with aggravated battery on a former girlfriend, Pohlmann said.

That woman, the sheriff said, called authorities about the dogs. Pohlmann said the woman found the canines when she returned to Toledo’s home in the 300 block of Parish Drive to get items she left there.

Toledo served time behind bars in the late 1980s and early 1990s for burglary in New Orleans and was arrested in the city on a murder charge in 1983 but was never convicted, Pohlmann said.

Deputies who interviewed Toledo said he denied killing any of the animals but offered no explanation of how they died, except for saying some of the smallest puppies might have accidentally been suffocated by a mother dog.

Instead, Pohlmann said, he only claimed he did not have time to bury them.

Compiled by

the New Orleans bureau