'The driver of a truck, identified as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto, travelled near the Endymion parade at around 6:42 p.m. Seven others declined to be hospitalized, city Emergency Services Director, Dr Jeff Elder said, adding that the victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4-years-old to adults in their 30s and 40s.
Neilson Rizzuto, who plowed into 32 people at a Mid-City intersection during the Endymion parade Saturday night and was initially booked on four felony charges, faces several additional counts of felony vehicular injury, according to police records. At least three people were hospitalized overnight Saturday with moderate to serious injuries, authorities said. There were no fatalities.
'"It appears that it's a subject who was highly intoxicated who struck a number of vehicles and then veered off, hitting a whole bunch of innocent people", Harrison said.
Police say Rizzuto's blood alcohol content registered as.232 percent on a breath test immediately after the crash, more than three times Louisiana's legal limit. Harrison was asked twice if terrorism was suspected. While he didn't say "No" he did say it looks like a case of DWI.
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It was uncertain Tuesday whether the family of Rizzuto, who is being housed in a low-security cell block in the Orleans Justice Center, would make bond. John Rizzuto told the station he spoke with his son multiple times Sunday morning and that his son said "a stranger gave him a drink off the street and that's the last thing he remembered".
Speaking to NOLA.com, the suspect's grandmother, Lorettz Rizzuto said her grandson is a hard-working person who didn't have previous problems with the law or drinking.
Police have said it's too soon to tell if the incident, which generated global headlines and cast a black shadow over what was otherwise a festive Carnival day, will bring about new safety rules in the city. She was in "good spirits", he said.
Saturday night's parade was put on by the Krewe of Endymion, which is known for its long, elaborate floats and the big party it hosts at the Superdome after the parade.