A young man suspected of driving his car through a crowd, injuring more than two dozen people, in New Orleans during a Mardi Gras parade allegedly was drunk at the time.
Neilson Rizzuto, 25, was accused of driving through the crowd Saturday night in Endymion, resulting in 28 injuries, CNN reported Monday. Rizzuto’s blood alcohol was nearly three times the legal limit — 0.232 percent — New Orleans police reported following a Breathalyzer test.
“We suspect that the subject was highly intoxicated,” Police Chief Michael Harrison said following the event, according to the Associated Press.
The crash took place Saturday evening during the Krewe of Endymion parade, at the intersection of Orleans and Carrolton avenues, AP reported. A gray pickup truck hit two vehicles before plowing into the crowd of revelers. Twenty-one victims were taken to the hospital: Seven declined medical attention. The Endymion parade is one of the largest Mardi Gras parades and attracts families. Of those injured, the ages ranged from 3-4 years of age up through those in their 30s and 40s, an emergency services director told AP.
“Endymion is one of three Super Krewes, and with more than 3,100 riders it is by far the largest parade with the largest crowds in Mardi Gras! Endymion features 37 floats,” read the website page for the event.
Rizzuto was charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence and one count each of reckless operation and hit-and-run driving. Following an appearance Sunday night, Rizzuto’s bail was set at $125,000. He was represented by a public defender. If Rizzuto is able to make bond, he will be placed under house arrest and wear an ankle bracelet.
The suspect was said to have worked at a daiquiri shop as a bouncer, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.