New Orleans cop who saved Lil Wayne’s life dies at 65 | Crime/Police
Robert Hoobler, the New Orleans police officer who helped save Lil Wayne’s life when the future rapper took his own life at age 12, has died at age 65, his friends announced Saturday.
Hoobler was found dead Friday at his Old Jefferson home, they said. For several years he suffered from persistent health problems after a car accident led doctors to amputate both legs, according to posts on his social media.
David Lapene, a friend and former colleague of the police department, said that Lil Wayne’s account of Hoobler and the officer Kevin Balancier who saved his life 27 years ago is “one of the best stories that portrays Hoobler as a person”.
The rapper, born Dwayne Carter Jr., was handling a 9mm pistol in his mother’s apartment in Hollygrove on November 11, 1994, when he shot himself in the chest. Whether it’s an accident depends on when the rapper tells the story.
Hoobler heard the police radio report and, although off duty, attended the scene, as did five other officers. No ambulance was available, so the senior officer ordered Hobbler to rush the boy to the hospital.
Pendulum backed a police car into the driveway of the apartment and opened the cruiser’s door. Hoobler carried Dwayne to the back seat and laid the badly injured youngster on his lap.
Send to hospital
An officer blocked traffic at major intersections, and as Dwayne moaned and bled all over Hoobler, Balancer rushed to Ochsner Medical Center, the nearest emergency room.
Hoobler spoke to Dwayne during the trip and shook him to keep him alert: “Stay awake, son. You’ll be fine. You’ll see.”
When they arrived, Pendulum opened the door and let Hoobler out. Hoobler put Dwayne on a stretcher, and the nurses and doctors took him away.
“Always forward people”
Hoobler went to the hospital bathroom to wash up what he could. Most of his shirt was dyed dark red.
Lil Wayne has told the story in interviews. In one, the black rapper said he never experienced racism because of Hoobler, a white man he called “Uncle Bob.”
“He was always a striker,” Lapene said. “He cared for the public as much as he cared for the cops.”
After retiring from the police department, Hoobler began working at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in 2009. He was fired and charged with malfeasance in the office in 2012, for shooting a man he was arresting with a stun gun. He accepted a plea deal and served his probation, then received a pardon due to his first offense.
Most recently he worked at Rock & Roll Towing in Kenner.
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