The media downplayed the racist murder as a carjacking gone bad.
After the story broke in the New Orleans press, a neighbor noted that she lived in the same neighborhood where the murder occurred. The area was described as "over there" by a Pizza Hut employee, she said. That is, the employee said, "We don't deliver over there," when the neighbor called for a pizza.
The murdered deliveryman worked for Dominos Pizza. That store apparently did deliver 'over there.'
Dead is Richard Yeager, 35. Arrested are two individuals profiled by age (16) and gender (male), but not by race. Demographics and law of averages leave us to presume the thugs were black.
Police say the unarmed Yeager was shot multiple times before the teens made off in his 2004 Toyota.
The unarmed Yeager was working two jobs to make ends meet. His teen killers were apparently robbing hard-working people for their cash.
The crime was reported September 22, 2014.
From our source we read:
I agreed to rent a condominium in a large eastern New Orleans complex before I had moved to the city. I wasn't really aware of the reputation of Hearthwood East until that early summer evening when I called the Pizza Hut on Lake Forest Boulevard and the girl on the phone said, "We don't deliver over there."Continue reading ►
Understand: While she was telling me that her restaurant didn't deliver "over there" I was standing on my balcony with a cordless phone and looking at Pizza Hut. I can't imagine my not making that point. I'm pretty sure I told her, "But, I can see y'all!"
But the point was made: I was living in a city - well, a neighborhood at least - that was perceived to be too dangerous for pizza delivery drivers. Too dangerous for them even when it was still light outside. I lived "over there," which seemed to have nothing at all to do with distance.
Richard Yeager, who had delivered a Dominos pizza to a Mid City apartment just after midnight Monday morning, was killed, police say, by a pair of 16-year olds who stole his car. Police say that both teenagers were wearing electronic monitoring devices, which indicates previous interaction with the criminal justice system. One of those teenagers has reportedly been linked to a carjacking that happened Uptown the Saturday before. A 50-year-old woman on Newcomb Boulevard - a place without a dangerous reputation - said she was pistol whipped and robbed of her purse and her car.
I mention the Uptown victim because including what happened to her prevents us from overly focusing on the characteristics of the neighborhood where Yeager was killed. If a person who killed a man in Mid City had pistol whipped a woman Uptown, then that's proof that violent criminals are far more itinerant than we may have believed them to be.
Whether that detail makes you more afraid depends on whether or not you already live in a neighborhood labeled "over there." If you do, then the thought of a Newcomb Boulevard pistol whipping and carjacking doesn't give you any more willies than you have on a daily basis. But if you live in a neighborhood with a reputation of wealth and comfort and safety, it has to be unsettling.
Delivering pizzas was Yeager's second job. He was also a DJ in the French Quarter. He had delivered pizzas for another company for three years in Metairie, but then he took the delivery job in New Orleans because it was closer to his home.
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