Lafayette Police Seek Assault Suspect, Downtown Leaders Vow ‘Enhanced Collaboration’
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified in the caption the person in the above picture as a suspect. That person is actually a person of interest.
Business leaders in Downtown Lafayette are vowing to exert more pressure on those who commit violent crimes after the brutal assault of a Lafayette man early Friday morning.
Robert Guercio, who serves as vice president of the Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association, told KPEL that Andre Broussard, a graphic designer and disc jockey at a local radio station, was on his way home at about 1:45 a.m. Friday when he apparently bumped into someone in front of a Jefferson Street business.
That person, captured on surveillance camera footage but which has not been made publicly available yet, became irate and followed Broussard all the way down Jefferson Street until Broussard got to Vermilion Street.
Between Jefferson and Buchanan, Guercio said Broussard heard the unknown suspect behind him and turned around to ask him what the problem was. That's when Guercio said the suspect "put all of his weight into a punch" and "knocked [Broussard] out cold," hitting him "square in the eyeball."
Guercio said the entire incident was caught on surveillance camera footage, but the owner of the
property on which the camera resides won't be able to release that footage to police until Monday morning at the earliest. KPEL will seek to get a copy of that footage.
Broussard is said to be resting, but he will have to go to a physician for a followup checkup in hopes that he has not suffered from any loss of vision or any other permanent injuries, according to Guercio.
Friday morning's assault served as a rallying cry for Downtown leaders, and Guercio said that if anyone comes Downtown "and you think of doing something violent, you better think twice because we're going to be after you." As a part of that effort, Guercio said business leaders and community organizers are enhancing their efforts to "facilitate [the] faster recovery of information pertinent to various crimes around the area."
"Many private property owners have video surveillance and we will be working in earnest to leverage these cameras to create a very strong deterrent," Guercio said. "And those without any cameras outside will be encouraged to add them to supplement what the city can afford. There is a requested budget item to add more cameras downtown now."
Guercio added that the DLRBA, the Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, the Lafayette Police Department, private property owners, and downtown residents and customers were all instrumental in finding and disseminating information in Broussard's assault.
"Everyone helped a little to a lot," Guercio added. "But everyone played an important role."