A woman in New Orleans accused a driver of luring her into the street and then purposefully hitting her with his SUV earlier this month, but new evidence in the case shows this is likely not the case.
Video from a surveillance camera outside of Juan's Flying Burrito on June 5 shows a vehicle similar to what the woman initially described as hitting her but it seemed to pass her without incident.
“There’s no car involved in this at all,” Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy told the Uptown Messanger. “It didn’t happen. It’s indisputable that it didn’t happen.”
But prior to this video footage emerging, the driver of the SUV, someone who police were searching for, faced aggravate battery charges.
The woman had accused the driver of stopping and making a motion for her to cross the street, Sgt. Daniel Scanlan said, according to a previous report from the Uptown Messenger. But as she stepped in front of the car, the woman alleged that the driver accelerated, stopping after hitting her so a passenger could say "ha-ha, bitch" before taking off.
“In the manner in which it was used, the vehicle was a weapon, no different than a baseball bat,” Scanlan said of the attack at the time. “He lured her into the street, and then he hit her.”
The Uptown Messenger reported that an ambulance took the woman to a hospital for treatment.
Gerald Noto, who owns a business on Magazine Street, near where the alleged incident happened said he heard the woman screaming.
“She was sitting right there at the curb and her legs were dangling, like, on the side,” Noto told WDSU-TV last week. “I heard her say they were crossing the street and someone hit them and left ... I just find it odd that a person would do that.”
Another business owner, Aiden Gill, said at the time that whoever did this "should be languishing in prison."
"That's a heinous thing to do, that you use a vehicle to injure a person,” Gill told the news station.
But as the surveillance video from the Flying Burrito shows, it probably didn't happen at all.
The woman can be seen standing behind a parked car on Magazine Street, waiting for traffic to pass and then crossing. When she reached the other side, she fell onto the sidewalk. Then, she got up and walked.
Watch the footage:
“When I first heard about it, it sounded pretty horrifying, so I’m glad to hear it didn’t happen that way,” Jud Houston, manager of Juan’s Flying Burrito, told the Uptown Messenger. “I don’t understand why she was claiming that it happened. There was no way anybody hit her, and I think that’s pretty clear from the video.”
Police have not been able to get in touch with the woman since this new footage emerged. Bardy speculated that the woman might truly believe she was hit, and with that in mind, police might not be able to charge her for making a false report.