Posted on July 31, 2014

Victim of St. Roch Attack: ‘They Just Wanted to Stomp Somebody’

Jonathan Bullington, Times-Picayune, July 29, 2014

William Murphy set out Sunday night to pick up a few groceries at the New Orleans Food Co-op in the St. Roch neighborhood. {snip}

But what should have been a routine errand quickly turned into a harrowing encounter with a group of teenagers who left him bloody and battered.

He remembers only flashes, he said, including the teens taking his laptop from his backpack but never attempting–despite ample opportunity–to take the $90 he had in his wallet.

“This was a planned assault,” Murphy said when reached by phone Tuesday (July 29), two days after the attack. “It was not a robbery attempt. They just wanted to stomp somebody.”

Murphy, who serves as vice president of the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association, became the second victim of weekend attacks in St. Roch. New Orleans police believe both were carried out by some of the same juveniles.

Around 9:30 p.m., Murphy said he was walking in the 1300 block of Music Street when his assailants “blindsided” him from around the street corner. He doesn’t know how long the beating lasted, only that maybe seven or eight individuals punched and kicked him multiple times in the face and body.

One blow left a clear shoe imprint on his forehead.


“I think they did what they wanted to do,” he said. “I was definitely on the ground. If they had wanted to take my possessions with eight of them stomping my head, I’m sure they could have done more. They could have continued if they wanted to.”


William Murphy

William Murphy

“I’m just kind of achy,” he said. “My head is achy. They kicked me in both temples.”

The day before the attack on Murphy, New Orleans artist Christopher Brumfield said maybe a dozen teens, armed with sticks and bats, beat him as he walked along St. Roch Avenue near North Claiborne Avenue.

Brumfield said he had to crawl into oncoming traffic to escape the assault.

NOPD said they have stepped up patrols in the area following the weekend violence. But with a third attack reportedly occurring on July 21 near the intersection of St. Roch Avenue and North Villere Street, Murphy questioned why police haven’t made their presence felt sooner.

“This gang of teenagers was on the St. Roch neutral ground the night after they attacked somebody else,” he said. “Where was a police cruiser that night? Certainly police should have been on the look out for roving bands of teenagers that night.”

{snip} The unprovoked nature of the recent assaults left residents to speculate about possible motives.

“My speculation is I don’t think that it’s about holding a grudge against anybody in particular,” he said. “I think it’s holding a grudge against society in general.”

[Editor’s Note: The police notice points out that the perps are black.]