NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Authorities have identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated.
The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Online jail records showed Rizzuto was arrested on a number of charges and was being held at the city’s jail.
The accident Saturday occurred during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets of Mid-City to watch the elaborate floats and clamor to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders.
On Saturday evening, Police Chief Michael Harrison said, “We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated.” Harrison was asked by the media if terrorism was suspected. While he didn’t say “No,” he did say it looks like a case of DWI.
Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash, with five victims taken to the trauma center in guarded condition. Dr. Jeff Elder, city emergency services director, said seven others declined to be hospitalized. He said the victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4 to adults in their 30s and 40s.
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