The former New Orleans Saints player killed Saturday night just happened to have just been dining with a policeman previously sued by his alleged murderer.
Cardell Hayes, 28, lost his dad more than a decade ago when he pulled a knife on cops in a pharmacy and they shot him. Hayes reportedly won a “large” sum of money in the suit regarding the death of his mentally-ill father.
The New Orleans Advocate details the centrality of Will Smith’s Saturday night dinner companion in that decade-old event that resulted in the death of Hayes’ troubled father:
In that incident, Hayes’ father had gotten into an argument with an employee at a St. Charles Avenue pharmacy while holding a pocket knife. City attorneys claimed later that the elder Hayes had lunged at Ceravolo with a pocketknife before the shooting.
Cardell Hayes sued for damages, alleging that officers should have used non-lethal force — such as a stun gun — to subdue his father, but none of the cops had such a tool.
Cardell Hayes and his sister, Tyiece Baptiste-Howard, sued the city in separate lawsuits, which the city settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount of money that could be described as “large,” said attorney Ike Spears, who represented Cardell Hayes in that matter.
Meanwhile, Ceravolo on Sunday said he was eating dinner with Smith and former Saints running back Pierre Thomas at a restaurant in the Lower Garden District shortly before authorities said Smith was rear-ended by Hayes on a nearby street. Ceravolo, who called Smith and Thomas personal friends, said he was not at the scene of the shooting when it occurred and was not aware that Hayes had named him in his federal lawsuit.
Smith lost his life Saturday night in New Orleans when Hayes allegedly shot him after rear-ending his car. The strange connection between Hayes and Smith’s dinner companion minutes before the fatal incident raises questions about the “road rage” explanation for the killing.