New Orleans area police briefs for Jan. 23, 2013

Meraux man accused
of attempted murder

A Meraux man accused of paralyzing a Kentucky contractor in a botched robbery last year was arrested by New Orleans police Friday.

Iren Cooper, 21, was booked with attempted first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery after police say he shot a man several times during a gunfight outside of an eastern New Orleans hotel in October. According to court records, Cooper tried to rob the victim as the man was exiting his truck in front of the hotel.

The victim tried to retrieve a revolver he kept in a backpack, and Cooper shot him several times after a struggle, the records state. Cooper and the victim then exchanged gunfire, before another unidentified suspect shot the man in the back, according to court records. The man was paralyzed from the shoulders down because of his injuries.

Police connected Cooper to the crime after he went to a local hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound and claimed he was injured in a robbery in another part of town. However, police found blood at the Chef Menteur site that matched Cooper’s DNA, the records said. Cooper is being held on a $350,000 bond.

Police investigating
shooting on holiday

Police are investigating another shooting that was reported on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the vehicle used in that event is similar to the one involved in a shooting earlier that day.

Officer Frank Robertson III, a police spokesman, said that shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday, two men were shot in the 3300 block of Fern Street in the Hollygrove neighborhood. The gunman in that incident was shooting from the sunroof of a white, Chrysler car, just like the gunman in a shooting that wounded five men near the intersection of Lasalle Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. That incident happened about a half hour after the city’s annual MLK parade concluded.

New Orleans shooting
is eighth in two days

A spurt of violence in New Orleans continued Tuesday when a man reported being shot in a housing development near downtown.

The incident was reported by police shortly before 5 p.m. when the unidentified victim showed up with a gunshot wound to leg at a local hospital, said Officer Garry Flot. The victim told police he’d been shot in the Iberville public housing development, and police were still trying to learn details in the incident.

The shooting was the city’s eighth in two days. On Monday, five people were shot in one incident shortly after the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade, and then another two men were shot later that night.

Teenager found
dead in Mandeville

Mandeville police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy found dead at a home last week.

Police found the body of Connor Guinn at a home in the 600 block of Lafitte Street in the city. They say that it appears that Guinn’s death might be related to alcohol but did not say how. Toxicology reports are pending. Guinn was a student at Mandeville High School.

Bicyclist, 16, killed
near Covington

A 16-year-old boy died on Tuesday after his bicycle was struck by an SUV on Monday afternoon near Covington.

The boy, whose name was not released, was struck at about 5 p.m. on Monday near the intersection of Josephine Street and St. Tammany Trace, said Sgt. Sean Beavers, a spokesman for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Investigators believe the boy ran a stop sign at the intersection and was struck by an SUV. The driver of the vehicle was not determined to be at fault, Beavers said.

The boy was initially taken to a local hospital for treatment but died early Tuesday morning.

13-year-old accused
of prison break-in

A 13-year-old boy was arrested by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office after authorities say he broke into the Bridge City Center for Youth to deliver food to his brother.

Fortunato said police learned about the incident after a firefighter noticed a vehicle parked outside of the prison. When the firefighter went to investigate, the vehicle sped away, striking the firefighter’s vehicle. However, the man did get the license plate number.

Investigators were able to track that vehicle to a New Orleans man and learned that his daughter was driving the car at the time of the accident. She also confessed to helping the 13-year-old and another subject deliver the contraband. The boy was arrested without incident and police arrested an 18-year-old man as well.

Harahan man jailed
in earring robbery

A Harahan man was arrested by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office last week after authorities say he robbed a jewelry store of thousands of dollars worth of diamond earrings that he claimed he needed to pay his expenses.

Timothy Naquin, 23, is accused of robbing a jewelry store in the 310 block of Metairie Road of about 15 pairs of diamond earrings after breaking a display case, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman. Using a combination of witnesses and cameras around Jefferson Parish, detectives were able to track Naquin to a Metairie pawn shop on Jan. 17. When arrested, Naquin confessed to the crime and said he committed the robbery because he had recently lost his job and home. He was booked with three counts of theft and one count of possession of stolen property.

Robbery suspect
doesn’t fool police

A 31-year-old homeless man was arrested by New Orleans police this weekend after he allegedly robbed two tourists by pretending to be a police officer.

Jack Simms was arrested on Bourbon Street after Eighth District officers saw him accost two Oklahoma students who attempted to purchase drugs from him, according to court records. The officer said he saw what appeared to be a failed drug transaction and then saw Simms force the students to sit on the curb.

Records say that Simms then demanded to be paid off, and threatened to shoot the men if they resisted. He was arrested without incident and booked with first-degree robbery, impersonating a police officer and simple battery.

Inmate walks away
from work detail

An inmate working at French Quarter eatery was arrested Sunday after police say he walked away from his job to purchase cigarettes.

Kenneth Celius, 33, was working at Olde N’awlins Cookery on Bourbon Street as part of work release program through the Warren McDaniel Work Release Center, according to court records. However, sometime Sunday morning he left the business with a woman. When he returned and was notified that his departure violated program rules, he said he was just trying to get cigarettes.

Gretna man arrested
in child porn case

Ralph Wille Jr., 68, of Gretna was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of possessing pornography involving juveniles, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said.

Agents arrested Wille, of 2115½ Palfrey St., following a multiagency investigation involving the Attorney General’s High Technology Crime Unit, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigations and Gretna Police Department. He was booked into the Jefferson Parish Jail.

Wille is charged with violating a state law forbidding a person to produce, distribute possess or possess with the intent to distribute pornography involving juveniles. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau