Local musician speaks out about his experience with violence in Baton Rouge

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 4:45pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 31, 2012 - 12:35pm

A picture quickly went viral among Baton Rouge Facebook users overnight that showed a local musician who was the victim of a violent crime.

Chris Dibenedetto of local bands "Onion Loaf" and "Gris Gris" was driving home from a show at Chelsea's Café in the early morning on Friday, March 2. He says he was attacked by four or five men and robbed.

Dibenedetto waited several days before posting the image on Facebook, but was eventually convinced by friends and family to do so. Along with the photo he posted the details of the incident, which he admits to be limited at best.

According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, an officer was dispatched to a residence related to the complaint shortly before 4:30 p.m. Dibenedetto was driving along East Boyd Street, which is located near LSU’s campus sometime around 3:00 a.m. when his car tire blew out due to a concrete block.

Dibenedetto posted on Facebook that his attackers intentionally placed the block in the middle of the roadway. A representative of the Baton Rouge Police Department says they are still working to determine the details regarding this part of the allegation.

“Based on the photograph of the damage and physical evidence at the scene, it actually appeared to the officer that the man had driven too close to the edge of the road, struck a drainage grate, then ran off the road and struck the large concrete block on private property, in someone’s yard,” Sgt Don Kelly, Baton Rouge Police Department, said.

Although the details of the investigation are still being sorted out, what’s clear is the amount of attention this story garnered since it was posted on Monday, March 5 at around 7:00 p.m.

Dibenedetto never imagined it would cause such a stir, but he says he's glad it's bringing attention to the crime problem in Baton Rouge, especially regarding the LSU area.

"So many people in this city are becoming aware,” he told NBC33 News. “I have a little sister in high school and little brother and a lot of their friends are now aware and that's just really nice because they're about to be in college a lot of them going to LSU.”

In his original message, he points out his reason for posting the picture.

"Just please travel in packs, be aware that traps are being set up for innocent people to get hurt, and please, please spread love to conquer the hate,” he wrote.

Dibenedetto also noted that his experience with crime is important to serve as a reminder that crime in the city is growing and spreading.

The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating this crime as a case of Second Degree Robbery and is being handled by the Robbery Division.

Dibenedetto will undergo surgery on Wednesday, March 7 to repair the fractures sustained to his eye. Dibenedetto’s father is a doctor and initially treated his wounds immediately after the incident occurred.

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