Covering Louisiana

Nov 28, 2013 8:41 AM by AP

New Orleans court clerk carjacked

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans police are searching for three men who carjacked and robbed the clerk of Second City Court and his cousin.

Darren Lombard recalled Monday's incident, telling The New Orleans Advocate that three men walked toward them about 11:30 p.m. Monday in the city's Algiers neighborhood and he offered a polite hello, assuming they'd continue on their way.

Moments later, though, the trio ordered Lombard and his cousin Derrick - son of 4th Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Edwin Lombard - to the ground. One of the men held a gun.

Darren Lombard says the men then ordered them to hand over their money, cellphones and keys. In less than two minutes, they were gone along with Lombard's possessions and SUV.

"It was very fast," Lombard said Wednesday.

Lombard and his cousin were dropping off campaign signs for City Council candidate Nadine Ramsey when the carjacking happened.

"I said, 'Hello. How are you doing?'" Lombard recalled. Then he saw the gun and heard the orders.

Lombard and his cousin got on the ground and followed the orders of the man holding the gun. When he told them to keep their heads down and not look at them, they obeyed, hoping it would mean the episode would end without injury.

"I thought, 'I just want to make it back home to my family,'" Lombard said.

After the men got the keys to the SUV, they began to toss out the campaign signs, then hopped into the car and sped away.

Lombard, who was elected to the clerk's post in November 2012, then called police, who arrived in a few minutes.

"This is getting crazy," he said of the experience.

This was the second time this year someone who works in the city's court system was held up.

In May, Criminal District Court Judge Frank Marullo was carjacked outside his Uptown home by five men.

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