MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO)— Richard Angelico has taken up a few hobbies in his retirement. But his passion used to be chasing stories as an investigative reporter in Crescent City.
“First thing I ever covered was a riot at Southern University,” Angelico said. “I did a lot of stories where people were telling me to get out of here or get off this or we’re going to sue you.”
Still, he was hooked on the big stories in the Big Easy, until things started to take a turn.
“The city brought in Richard Pennington as police chief [in the 1990s] because the crime rate was off the charts, but more than that the murder rate was really up there,” Angelico said.
According to him, it wasn’t long after that the carjackings started – something even he fell victim to.
“One of the kids had a 9mm pointed at me and they were screaming, yelling and jumping up and down,” Angelico said. “One of them jumped me and grabbed the keys out of my hands.”
The prosecution took over a year, according to Angelico.
Similar to issues seen now, one of those teens became a suspect in another crime. That time it was a murder.
When things became too dangerous, Angelico and his wife moved from Bayou St. John across the lake to Mandeville.
“My wife would walk the dogs, I’d have to go with her and carry a gun,” Angelico said. “I mean who wants to live in a place where you have to carry a gun to go walk your dogs?”
As time has gone on, he’s only watched the problems progress. He pointed blame at city officials.
“I don’t see any sign that they’re gonna stop this any time soon. I don’t see any hope on the horizon. I don’t see any leadership at City Hall by anyone,” he said.
Angelico told WGNO a possible solution would be to host a crime summit and have officials from cities who have gotten these problems under control share their successes.
He believes if the problem persists, the tourism industry will take a big hit.