St. Charles Parish: Stranded motorists should call 911

Three men shot at, robbed on I-10 roadside

The recent incident involving three men stranded on I-10 who were robbed and one shot represents an unnerving situation becoming increasingly worrisome for unsuspecting motorists.

“In St. Charles Parish, we receive numerous calls every day in relation to stranded motorists,” said St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. James Grimaldi.

Last Friday, the three men stranded by a stalled vehicle on I-10 over the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway were attacked, robbed and shot at by suspects who pretended they had stopped there to help them.

Later that day, a man who pulled over to check his truck off I-10 in New Orleans East was also robbed by two gunman at 10 a.m. According to the New Orleans Police Department, the man was shot despite complying with the robbers.

Grimaldi said the incidents were not apparently related, but he advised anyone stranded on the shoulder of the roadway, whether it be for a flat tire, out of gas or just a broken vehicle, should first contact their law enforcement agency for help.

“We will send a deputy to you to aid in changing a flat tire, or just provide company while waiting for a tow truck,” he said. “Louisiana State Police will also go to aid stranded motorists, so please don’t hesitate to contact someone for aid.”

Awareness is important for anyone in a stalled vehicle or walking home at night, Grimaldi said.

“Pay attention to your surroundings and keep your guard up,” he said. “It’s sad you have to do that, but obviously your safety is the No. 1 key priority.”

For the three men who found themselves in this situation at about 12:48 a.m. April 21, the encounter with men who claimed to be there to help them immediately became dangerous and nearly lethal.

When their vehicle stalled, they parked on the highway shoulder eastbound to inspect the car.

Soon after, a green Pontiac sedan pulled up behind them. One man exited the Pontiac and approached them offering assistance, but when the victims declined two more African-American men came from the car and one of them aimed a handgun at them, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

They demanded money, but the victims resisted leading to a brief struggle between them.

The armed suspect fired the handgun into the air and again demanded money, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The victims surrendered their money, a wallet and a cellphone.

All three African-American males returned to the Pontiac and one of them fired about four gunshots at the victims as they fled the scene.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, one of the victims was hit by two bullets and transported to a New Orleans hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing ad asks for help with identifying and locating the suspects.

Suspect One is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-4, with a thin build.  He is believed to be in his mid to late 20’s in age.  He was wearing a gray or black colored hoodie.

Suspect Two is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-4, with a thin build.  He is believed to be in his mid to late 20’s in age. He was clad in a brown colored hoodie.

Suspect Three is described as a black male, much taller than the other two suspects.  He is believed to be in his late 30’s to early 40’s in age. He was clad in a red colored shirt.

If anyone believes they know the identity of the suspects, may have possibly witnessed the incident or has any information pertaining to the Pontiac sedan should call Detective Jody Weems at (985) 783-1135 or  (985) 783-6807.

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