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Stay Away From New Orleans


rocky
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Well without too much detail since I'm dealing with New Orleans Police and their Public Integrity Unit be careful. During a Sunday afternoon this weekend watching the football game at OZ I was picked up by someone who appeared to be a regular, wasn't really picked up but said he'd run me back to my hotel. Didn't want a ride but saw me limping, have had some surgery, and ended up taking the person up on his offer. Anyhow almost two hours later, hundreds of dollars later, tossed out of a car, told I was going to die I had the experience of the New Orleans 911 and police department plus the non action of OZ. Lot more to t his obviously but was left on the side of the road for dead, but 911 didn't care, did finally make it back to my hotel and back with friends to OZ but no one seemed to care.

 

I know there's a lot missing. But learned, New Orleans is not ready for people to return and places I thought would be supporting me were not. Look, I'm someone who visited, was careful to some degree but took someone up on an offer to take me back to my hotel because I wasn't walking well. That led to crap. I know, don't get in to cars with people you don't know but after people at OZ appearing to know everyone I thought I was safe. Enough.

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RE: Be careful in New Orleans

 

I'm very sorry for your experience and hope you are/will be allright.

Since, as you say, you are omitting some detail, I can only comment somewhat.

Emergency services in New Orleans are under heavy strain from the increase in criminal activity in what was already a high crime area before the hurricaines. What has always been a very dangerous area is now moreso as efforts to continue to repopulate the infrastructure of the city continue.

 

When visiting, especially during big events (Mardi Gras, Southern Dec) those support systems are dangerously taxed beyond capacity. Some would say a disaster waiting to happen if any large scale event would occur.

 

The best thing you can do if visiting is to limit your risk of needing to rely on these services.

 

New Orleans is still a great place to visit.

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I've exchanged a few e-mails with Rocky this morning after reading his post regarding his experience in N.O. on Sunday. I was in N.O. last week and had a near identical experience on Thursday afternoon with an individual I met at Good Friends Bar in the Quarter. We are convinced it was the same guy. 28 y.o. 6ft, close cropped hair, heavily tattooed and gold teeth. Goes by the nickname "Goldie". Locals and bartenders seem to know him and treated him in a friendly manner so I did not consider him a dangerous, unknown. Basically, after a 2 hour nightmare of driving from the Quarter to Metairie with this guy for what I thought was him going to get some money from his brother to buy vodka turned out to be a drug deal. At one point I was left at a McDonalds, had to use my atm to get cab fare. He pulled up all apologetic, just a misunderstanding. He drove me home and I said good night. I just wanted to be done with him. I gave up $100 in the process. Felt scammed. I consider myself a seasoned world traveler but was taken in by this guy.

I think if the bars in N.O. knew this they would kick the guy out. I saw bartenders kick out a few guys while I was there because they were hitting up the customers for money or in one case, an attempted pickpocket. I have to say that other than this 2 hour experience I had a great time in N.O. and plan to return soon. I just have to be a little wiser than usual I guess.

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I'm sure the experience I had was with the same person, no doubt about it. The bartendar at OZ seemed to know him but when I tried to get information from the bartendar he shied away. This "goldie" threatened me a couple of times, took my cell phone, threw it out the car, left me on a dark expressway, had no idea where I was or what I was to do. I realize the city is short handed in dealing with crime but nonetheless, and even my stupidity aside, to be treated like I was by 911 personnel is unacceptable. Thanks for those who have offered kind words.

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Gentlemen what I don’t understand is what ever possessed you to leave a bar or club with a stranger and get into his car. I also am a seasoned traveler and have traveled all over the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Central and South America and Asia and one rule I have always followed during my traveling life has been DON’T TRUST STRANGERS. The exact same thing could have happened to you in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Acapulco, Rio, Bangkok or Sidney. When traveling in strange places the visitor’s first responsibility is to know some basic safety rules. Research the city you intend to visit, know the neighborhood in which you plan to stay and learn what are the best and safest means of transportation for all times of the day and night. If you plan carefully this kind of thing just should not happen.

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I can only speak for myself. I think one of the main reasons people go to gay bars is to meet people. I've been to N.O. at least a dozen times and never had a bad experience from anyone I met in a bar. Now, I don't leave with just anyone. The person who scammed Rocky and I is a local, well known to bar owners, bartenders and other locals. I had seem him twice earlier in my visit in bars and he seemed fine. When he left with me, the bartender even called out to him, "Bye Goldie". So, no red lights went off in my head, in fact, every signal up to this point seemed to give me green lights. But, having been burnt and having compared notes with Rocky, I will be even more careful in the future.

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Rocky here again. You don't know how many times I've beat myself up about what I did my accepting a ride from a stranger. And I was visiting with a friend who gave me a sound lecture after I had calmed down and wanted to hit someone. But, and here goes, I was at a place that I thought was somewhat safe, bartendar was talking to all of us and saw me talking with this person, heard the guy talking to me about getting a ride, having some fun, others were around, no one said, hey new guy in town might want to reconsider. It was day, and I felt safe. Not justifying the decision I made, it was stupid, but feel that places such as OZ, Corner Pocket, Good Friends, Bourbon, etc know the hustlers and should either tell us to stay clear or have them stay clear. I'm in upstate NY; I use to visit a place in syracuse and would often be told by the bartendar or others, hey, stay clear. Am I asking the bartendar to be a babysitter for mature men, no, but here and I think other places, they knew this guy and his scam and I was taken. Remember, I was left along side the road, in the dark, no way of knowing where I was, and then abused by the 911 people and I don't care how over worked they are. If NO wants people back, they have to do a much better job than what I experienced. Sorry to be lengthy..Rocky

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Guest zipperzone

I am a control freak. There is no way I would ever get into someone else's car unless I know the guy personally, and even then I'd prefer to drive my own car. When you are behind the wheel of your own car, you are in control (unless your passenger is a thug and pulls a gun or knife on you)

 

Even when on vacation in strange cities, I always rent a car. No trying to hail a cab or figure out what bus/subway to take for me. Sure it costs a little more (but not that much and sometimes can be cheaper than a lot of cab rides)but is well worth it. Just consider it as part of the cost of travelling. It gives you great mobility and you end up seeing so much more than you would otherwise. Try it - you'll like it. And YOU will be in CONTROL.

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I won't comment or judge your actions in this event but if you felt that NO 911 and the police department responded inappropriately, have you considered filing a complaint with the NO District Attorney or with the LA State Attorney General? Perhaps it'll go nowhere but then again maybe some good can come from it, and you can prevent these criminals from doing it again. It might be worth it to sit with an attorney and discuss your options.

 

Ed

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Ed, I have been working with the Public Integrity Bureau but have also been advised by a friend of mine who is a Chief of Police at a university, to file a letter with the Chief of Police and Mayor's Office. I was also advised to obtain a copy of the 911 transcript via freedom of information, and I've done that. Thanks for not judging, I've already berated myself repeatedly for my stupidity.

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Guest zipperzone

>Glad to hear you've gotten advice and you're going through

>official channels, keep at it!

>

>I wonder if you could sue them in Civil Court?

 

Don't know but even if you can I bet the hassle would be more than the compensation.

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You know Rocky I sincerely believe the best advice anyone can give you regarding this matter is to consider the entire adventure an expensive learning experience, forget it and move on.

The municipal government of New Orleans has so many more serious problems than yours that you will be lucky to get any response at all. The African American City Attorney recently resigned because the first thing he did upon being elected was fire ALL the white Assistant Attorneys in his office. They sued and won in the first round and he resigned rather that cost the city the outside attorney fees for an appeal. I don’t know if his successor has even been selected. The mayor is worthless and has accomplished nothing except his own re-election. The city of New Orleans has the reputation of being the most corrupt city in the U.S. Supposedly fifty cents of every dollar coming into New Orleans from both the State and the Federal Government gets eaten up in graft. This graft is supposedly the reason George Bush has been extremely hesitant to send Federal Money to assist in repairing the damage done by Katrina. The one bright light is the newly elected governor (inaugurated just a week or two ago) who was elected on a platform of reform. He is calling a special session of the State Legislature to pass an entire series of ethic and disclosure reforms. God only knows how much he will be able to accomplish considering the traditions of graft and good old boy politics in Louisiana.

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Guest zipperzone

>The one bright light is the newly

>elected governor (inaugurated just a week or two ago) who was

>elected on a platform of reform. He is calling a special

>session of the State Legislature to pass an entire series of

>ethic and disclosure reforms. God only knows how much he will

>be able to accomplish considering the traditions of graft and

>good old boy politics in Louisiana.

 

He'll be damn lucky if he doesn't get his head blown off!

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Well I'm back with several replies. First, the note about how far NO has dug in to a hole and corrupt, or non responsive police and other aid departments, I certainly understand. I know I"m not going to get any satisfaction and guess I wasn't looking for that but just wnated to formally have my frustration on file. I'd love to come back but it's amazing that some of the most frequent places visitors visit (v for v) have this same hustler taking advantage and I don't hear any of them saying, hey we won't let this happen. OK, now I go back to my preaching place; I visited NO to go to some nice gay, dancing, etc places. I also know they get all types of people, but I think the bartendars and others should be somewhat guiding to the visitor. I know I'm not making sense but guess this entire experience has made me not thinking right.

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Silence=death!

 

Fight the fight!

 

If you don't speak out for injustice, then injustice will continue.

 

Irregardless of whether or not something will be done or not, you have every right to speak out.

 

Finally, how about the local gay press in NO? Any bar guides or newspapers who might be willing to run the story? Any local websites you can post to?

 

ED

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  • 4 weeks later...

From towleroad.com, another New Orleans story:

 

 

ESPN columnist Shoved, Taunted with Gay Slurs at NBA Weekend

LZ Granderson, a columnist for ESPN.com, says he was confronted by a group of men in New Orleans last week during NBA All-Star Weekend who taunted him with anti-gay slurs. Granderson says he fears that it would have escalated had a couple of policemen been nearby.

 

Writes Granderson: "When the first one pushed me in the back, I remember thinking I was going to die. After a second shove, I had no thoughts at all -- only fear. This is how I spent a portion of my Saturday night during NBA All-Star Weekend -- being gay bashed because the size large T-shirt I was wearing wasn't large enough for someone else's comfort. As I walked by the group of men -- on my way to the Playboy party, no less -- one of them called me a faggot. Then another joined in. They followed me for a while, continuing to hurl names at me. I tried to ignore it but eventually the "Detroit" came out of me and I turned around and said some things I probably shouldn't have. Next thing I know I'm surrounded and wondering if I'm going to see the dawn and if not for a pair of New Orleans policemen who saw trouble brewing and yelled at the group to break it up, I might not have."

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Believe it or not I want to go back to NO. It is a fun place but some people really make it bad. I only hope others are careful. And I am not laying off of my case with 911 and the NO Police department, I was not treated right no matter what the issue. Best, Rocky

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I do not live in New Orleans but certainly am within driving distance. Also, I attended a University there. It truly disappoints and hurts me to hear these things about a place that I have enjoyed so much. A city that I have described as the funnest place on earth.

 

Being "queered" is always painful but to read about this happening in the city where I came out is particularly discomforting. Thankfully, this has never happened to me.

 

This incident coupled with the original part of this thread is disheartening but I hope they are only isolated instances and do not reflect worse things to come.

 

New Orleans can be a really great place to have fun.

 

the Cajun

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