Police: Man chases, beats wallet thief to death with bare hands

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Man, Allegedly Beats Wallet Thief To Death With Bare Hands

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A man whose wallet was stolen outside a New Orleans gas station is accused of chasing down the alleged thief and beating him to death Friday morning.

Simon B. Morris, 31, is charged with manslaughter in the case, according to New Orleans police officials. The full name of the victim and his official cause of death had not been released Monday morning.

Police officers were called at 8:19 a.m. Friday to an ongoing fight in the 4200 block of South Claiborne Avenue. When they arrived, they found an unresponsive man lying on the ground.

The victim was taken to University Medical Center, where he died, a police news release said. Witnesses pointed to Morris as the man who had beaten the man who died.

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The New Orleans Advocate reported that Morris was at an Express Mart on South Claiborne Avenue when the other man, identified in court records by his first name, Edwin, asked him for a dollar. Edwin then grabbed Morris' wallet from his back pocket and ran, the newspaper reported.

A May 2016 Street View image from Google Maps shows Hi Class Customs on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. It is in a driveway behind the business that Simon B. Morris, 31, is accused of beating to death a man who he said stole his wallet the morning of Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Morris is charged with manslaughter in the alleged pickpocket's death.
Caption
A May 2016 Street View image from Google Maps shows Hi Class Customs on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. It is in a driveway behind the business that Simon B. Morris, 31, is accused of beating to death a man who he said stole his wallet the morning of Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Morris is charged with manslaughter in the alleged pickpocket's death.

Credit: Google

Credit: Google

Morris caught up with the alleged pickpocket in the rear driveway of Hi Class Customs, an auto upholstery and window tinting shop across the street, and got his wallet back. That's when the beating began, the Advocate reported.

Witnesses who tried to restrain Morris told investigators he punched and kicked Edwin even as the man "was begging Morris to stop and was attempting to cover his face and body," police officials said. The beating went on "for a duration of five minutes or more," the Advocate reported.

Bystanders were eventually able to pull Morris off the man.

Louisiana law defines manslaughter as a homicide "committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection."

If convicted, Morris faces up to 40 years in prison.

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