Mother calls Bienville parking lot carjacking ‘the worst and scariest experience of my life’

Erica Thompson Broussard, a Destrehan resident, was carjacked Monday while picking up her 6-year-old son, James, at Crane Rehab Center, 3923 Bienville St. Her son, who is on the autism spectrum, had finished a therapy session at Crane.
She posted about the ordeal Monday night on Facebook to remind others to always be aware of their surroundings. Her account, reprinted with permission, is below:

Tonight, as I was picking up James from therapy, we were carjacked at gun point. The behavioral technician walked James out to the car and I stepped out of the driver seat to walk around to put him in his booster seat….this is something I did every day for 4.5 years and now three times a week since august….

At this exact moment a car sped into the parking lot, allowing the passenger to hop out of that car and into mine. He put a gun to my face and shouted to “back the **** up”. I placed my hands in the air and tried to stand between the car and James. Both cars then sped off, each going a different direction. My car doors were still opened.

Y’all, this was at 5:01 pm…it was still daylight…and there were multiple people out in the parking lot. It all happened so fast. And by far was the worst and scariest experience of my life.

James and I are both safe! And his therapy center were angels throughout this. And so was a Rouses worker who was trying to get to his shift. He called 911 and stayed to talk to the police, he even got the first three digits of their license plate.

I am telling my story so that everyone…especially women who may be distracted with getting kids in the car…knows to please please please be careful and be aware of your surroundings!!!!! The police told us that this is a huge problem right now in Mid-City…Especially close to the Bienville Street area.

(I literally just read the story of the woman’s car and dog being stolen at the fly last week. And reading these stories you never think that it could happen to you. Well tonight it did)

So please be careful out there in this crazy world we live in. And hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.

In the aftermath of the armed carjacking, Broussard said Wednesday she is having some difficulty coping. “I’m just really shaken up still and having a hard time wrapping my head around and processing what happened,” she said.

James is OK, she said, adding: “I’m not quite sure how much he fully grasped what happened.”

First District Commander Capt. Lejon Roberts addressed the area’s uptick in violent crime Tuesday night during the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association meeting, specifically citing this carjacking and the recent homicide outside the Waffle House on Canal Street.

The First District has seen about seven shootings and three homicides this year, Roberts said. His officers are working with a multi-agency team, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshalls and the State Police, to track down and arrest the perpetrators.

“We know the narrative. We’ve identified some key players,” he said. “We’ve made some arrests and have issued some warrants.”

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