Recent assaults linked to The Boot


Erin Snodgrass

A police car sits on Broadway Street outside The Boot Bar & Grill on Sept. 6. The recent reports of sexual assaults linked to the Uptown bar have led to an increase police presence in the area.

Emma Ruby

Director of University Police Todd Warren said two recent off-campus assaults “could be,” connected.

As of Sept. 11 neither LUPD or New Orleans police had a person of interest in either case.

While Warren was unable to confirm whether or not the victims were Loyola students, he said incident reports were filed with LUPD in both cases and The Times-Picyune / NOLA Advocate reported the students attend Loyola.

Warren added that while Tulane University police have helped ramp up police presence around campus in response to the assaults, incident reports have not been filed with the department.

LUPD warned students of the assaults in two separate emails sent to students over a two week period. In the latest incident, a victim woke up on the railroad tracks near South Carrollton and Leake Avenues near Cooter Brown’s in the early morning of Thursday, Sept. 5.

The assault had similarities to a crime that took place on Aug. 24. In both incidents, the victims were approached by a man at The Boot Bar and Grill and were taken to secondary locations where they were sexually assaulted, LUPD said.

Descriptions of the suspects sent to students were similar, and Warren confirmed he believed the suspect could be the same perpetrator.

In response to the perceived uptick in crime, Warren said both LUPD and TUPD are increasing their presence in the area. Warren said the two departments are “talking every day,” to coordinate patrol efforts.

LUPD officers are working overtime throughout evenings and weekends until there is some “closure” in the assaults, Warren said.

Warren said that The Boot has provided law enforcement with video surveillance and has been cooperative in the ongoing investigation.

The chiefs of LUPD and TUPD met with The Boot’s owners and managers in what Warren described as a “productive meeting” on Sept. 10.

Despite the bars cooperation, Warren did not feel students should rely on Boot security.

“I think The Boot is somewhat of a target rich environment,” Warren said.

The Boot could not be reached for comment.

While Warren said he doesn’t want students to live in fear of the attacks, he encourages students to go out in large groups and stay vigilant.

“We’re dealing with predators,” Warren said. “Really watch the club scenes for right now.”

Warren said that no new reports of druggings or assaults have come to LUPD’s attention since the second alert was sent to students. The alerts have raised student awareness for off campus safety, he said.

“I think the alerts and instances started a conversation,” Warren said. “I hope this conversation can continue and maybe we can come together as a community and as a university that is appalled and says this is not acceptable in our area and we’re going to stand up and do something about it.”