A police officer's son was held Sunday on more than a half-million dollars' bond after two people were killed and seven others were injured, three of them critically, when a vehicle struck them on a busy New Orleans street, authorities said.
The man, Tashonty C. Toney, who turned 32 on Saturday, was likely impaired, New Orleans police spokesman Andy Cunningham said Sunday morning. NBC affiliate WDSU reported that court records quoted Toney as having told officers: "I have a drinking problem. I should have gotten help."
Toney was held on $510,000 bond pending a hearing on Thursday on two counts of vehicular homicide and seven counts of vehicular negligent injury, hit and run, and reckless operation.
Lt. Jonathan Fourcade, a spokesman for New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, said a man and a woman, both about 30 years old, were killed. The injured were ages 28 to 65, he said.
Witnesses told WDSU that the car sideswiped several vehicles before it came to a stop outside a restaurant, where the driver tried to flee before bystanders jumped in. A witness told The New Orleans Advocate that the driver asked whether he had killed anybody and then remarked: "Call my daddy — call my daddy. He's NOPD."
Police confirmed that Toney's father is a New Orleans officer.
Police Supt. Shaun Ferguson said bystanders stopped the driver along a stretch of Esplanade Avenue near where the Krewe of Endymion was holding its annual Mardi Gras parade, one of the city's largest, at about 8 p.m. Saturday.
"EMS, fire department was immediately on scene to render assistance to these victims — and not just with us and our public safety departments, but also with our citizens, who were providing CPR to some of the victims while our medical staff was en route to this scene," Ferguson said.