DA charges NOPD detective with attempted murder

A New Orleans police detective has been charged with attempted murder and simple battery based on allegations related to a domestic abuse incident from April, according to the Police Department.

Detective Robert Hurst, a 10-year NOPD veteran assigned to the 5th District, was placed on emergency suspension without pay while the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau investigates the allegations, according to an NOPD news release Friday.

Police did not arrest him. An NOPD spokesman said he couldn’t comment on why police did not arrest Hurst, or what a police investigation concluded, saying the investigation was ongoing.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office filed the charges against Hurst on Friday based on a referral from the Police Department in mid-June, DA spokesman Christopher Bowman said.

Hurst, who received a $42,000 salary last year, has yet to make a court appearance in the case.

His attorney, Eric Hessler, said the charges stem from an allegation by an ex-girlfriend who didn’t report it until they broke up. Hessler said Hurst was told to turn himself in Monday. He declined to detail the allegation but said police had been investigating the incident since April.

“It’s purely a disgruntled ex-girlfriend who has found a way to make trouble for this guy, who certainly doesn’t deserve anything,” Hessler said. “Once the evidence is in and everyone takes a look at it, it’s going to be evident what actually occurred. It certainly wasn’t criminal on Rob’s part.”

In 2011, Hurst was suspended for 18 days after he allegedly took off his uniform shirt at Fat Harry’s bar Uptown and let a young woman wear it.

Superintendent Ronal Serpas railed on Hurst in a statement to WWL-TV at the time.

“For this particular employee — I can’t even bring myself to call him an officer — for this particular employee to be so flippant with the use of this uniform, knowing how many people have lost their life in service of this uniform, disgusts me to my core,” Serpas said.

The Civil Service Commission found that Hurst, who had admitted to attending a fraternity party and chugging a beer while in uniform that day, removed his badge, name plate and collar brass before allowing a woman identified as “Kim” to wear his NOPD shirt.

The commission upheld his 18-day suspension.

Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.