As Mardi Gras picks up, so do arrests in New Orleans

Here’s a fun fact: Nearly 400 people were arrested in New Orleans this past weekend, forced to chill out at central lockup after being charged with public drunkenness, lewd contact, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace and a variety of other misdemeanors that are probably par for the course during Mardi Gras time.

New Orleans Times-Picayune spent the weekend looking at mug shots. Sadly, the paper does not publish them. However it does report that 300 people were arrested just in the period from 12:01 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday (so, like half the weekend).

A husband-wife team were thrown in the clink for having sex in public; various women were hauled in for prostituting themselves; a 48-year-old man was charged with “refusing to go to sleep or leave for home,” at 4 a.m. Saturday. One motorist was charged with “driving on curbs.” Lewd contact, of course, can refer to a lot of flashing for beads, but it usually refers to the act of relieving oneself on a city wall.

So, it’s a busy time at the city jail, and we’re still a day away from the festival’s climax.