- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on car hitting Mardi Gras crowd (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

New Orleans police say it’s too soon to discuss whether new safety rules will be established after a man accused of driving drunk plowed into a Mardi Gras parade crowd.

Police spokesman Michael “Beau” Tidwell says he’s also trying to track down why a police report says 32 people were hit. Earlier statements had the number at 28, with 21 taken to hospitals and seven declining treatment.

He says those injured include a police lieutenant. Tidwell says he believes Lt. Michelle Woodfork was on duty at the time of the accident Saturday night. He says she’s the niece of former Police Superintendent Warren Woodfork.

The driver, 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto, is jailed, his bond set at $125,000. The accident happened during one of the season’s glitziest parades, the Krewe of Endymion.


2:30 a.m.

Police say the driver accused of plowing into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. He’s being held at the city’s jail on charges of first-degree negligent vehicular injuring, hit-and-run driving causing serious injury and reckless operation of a vehicle.

The accident happened Saturday during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets of Mid-City to watch the elaborate floats and clamor to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders.

Police said Sunday that 28 people were hurt in the accident that sent 21 people to the hospital; an additional seven people at the scene declined medical help.

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