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

Duke Carter talks about the arrests of four suspects accused of leaving a man in critical condition during a weekend mugging.

NEW ORLEANS – All four men accused of a brutal weekend beating and robbery have been arrested Wednesday, according to police.

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

Piper is also due in court Wednesday for a bond hearing.

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

According to Convent House, 21-year-old Dejuan Paul, 18-year-old Joshua Simmons and Pogozelski all lived at the house before Saturday’s violent robbery.

ALSO: Suspects in violent French Quarter attack lived at Covenant House

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.

MORE: Suspect in French Quarter attack confessed crime to pastor, police say

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.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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