All four suspects in custody for brutal French Quarter beating, robbery

(Photo Courtesy: OPSO)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – Police have arrested all four suspects in the case of a brutal beating and robbery of a man in the French Quarter.

Records show Rashaad Piper, 20, and Nicholas Pogozelski, 18, were booked into the Orleans Justice Center in the early morning hours Wednesday.

Authorities said the group mugged two Boston-area men who were in town for a religious convention, leaving one of them in critical condition.

Authorities said the first suspect arrested, 21-year-old Dejuan Paul, went to his pastor at noon Monday with a confession: he was one of four men seen in a widely-circulated surveillance video of a brutal beating and robbery of the two men Saturday night. He turned himself in later that day.

Justin Simmons, 18, was booked around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. He was arrested after someone told police where he was.

The mugging happened about 9 p.m. Saturday as James Curran and Tim Byrne, Unitarian Universalist Association information-technology staffers, who were in New Orleans for the religious association’s annual meeting, walked back to their hotel room.

The video shows Curran get punched in the face. He suffered a fractured nose, a family member told WWL-TV. Byrne, who was knocked unconscious and fell face first on the sidewalk after he was punched, suffered “serious brain injury,” according to the warrant.

A source told WWL-TV that Paul wore brass knuckles when he allegedly delivered the blow to Byrne’s face and head.

Police have said Byrne was hospitalized in critical condition. Harrison said Byrne’s condition has since improved slightly.

All four suspects face second-degree robbery charges instead of simple robbery because of the severity of the injuries, police have said.

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