Suspects arrested in French Quarter 'shoe shine' scam
Jay Vise Reporting
NOPD investigators say two "scam artists" were quickly arrested after they bullied a couple into handing over cash in the French Quarter.
According to Det. Michael Flores, the husband and wife were walking in the 600 block of Decatur Street when they were stopped by two men. Police say one of the men "squirted a substance on the husband's shoe and demanded $10 for shining his shoe."
Investigators say after the husband handed over $20, the same man then squirted the substance on the wife's shoes and demanded an additional $10 for "shining" the wife's shoes.
The couple later told police the two men blocked their path until they handed over an additional $10. Fearing for their safety, the husband and wife handed over another $10 to the suspects.
Police say the couple flagged down an NOPD Detective, who called for additional units. Both suspects were caught a few minutes later and charged with robbery.
Arrested were Robert Funches (above, left) and Bryant Brown (above, right.) Detectives say Funches has a history of begging, obstructing a public passage, aggressive solicitation, battery and narcotics. Brown is described as a "possible career criminal" by the NOPD, who says he has an arrest history of narcotics, aggravated battery, simple robbery, possession of stolen property, theft, resisting arrest, trespassing, disturbing the peace, begging, and obstructing a public passage.
Both suspects face a maximum possible penalty of up to seven years in prison.