Po­lice: Sus­pect taped at­tack

As 3 robbed, stabbed man in Wy­man Park, a fourth recorded it

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Justin Fen­ton

A group of young peo­ple put a gun to the head of a 64-year-old man read­ing a book at the Wy­man Park Dell, sprayed him with Mace and stabbed him be­fore steal­ing his be­long­ings — an at­tack that one of them recorded on video and posted on Face­book, city po­lice re­vealed Fri­day.

Po­lice an­nounced the ar­rests of two peo­ple in con­nec­tion with the day­time crime, which oc­curred Mon­day, and said the group is be­lieved to be re­spon­si­ble for other re­cent rob­beries. At least one of the sus­pects has al­ready been charged in an­other rob­bery ear­lier this month, of a pizza de­liv­ery driver who was choked un­til she nearly lost con­scious­ness.

Zan­nay Laws and Dakei Perry, both 18, were charged Thurs­day with at­tempted mur­der and rob­bery, po­lice said. In charg­ing doc­u­ments for Laws, po­lice wrote that she ad­mit­ted stand­ing with the at­tack­ers and record­ing the Wy­man Park at­tack with her cell­phone and post­ing to Face­book.

City Coun­cil­woman Mary Pat Clarke, who rep­re­sents the dis­trict in which the park is lo­cated, said the video post­ing takes

her ou­trage “to new lev­els.”

“Here’s a man sit­ting on a bench, read­ing a book in the park,” she said. “To think that it was ac­tu­ally planned and recorded to be pub­li­cized is just be­yond un­der­stand­ing. It’s out­ra­geous.

“What in the world would in­spire a per­son to take part in such an as­sault and want other peo­ple to share it?” Clarke said “It’s sick.”

The vic­tim was sit­ting on a bench about 5 p.m. in the North Bal­ti­more park near the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity and the Bal­ti­more Mu­seum of Art when the sus­pects sur­rounded him and asked where they could ex­change for­eign money, po­lice said.

One of the sus­pects placed a gun to his head, de­mand­ing money and prop­erty. An­other stabbed him in his lower back, then a third sprayed him with Mace. Po­lice say in charg­ing doc­u­ments that Laws was stream­ing video of the at­tack to Face­book.

The vic­tim was stabbed again, in the right arm, be­fore the sus­pects fled with his iPhone, his North Face back­pack and $60 in cash.

Po­lice spokesman T.J. Smith said a ci­ti­zen tip helped lead po­lice to the sus­pects, and sug­gested the Face­book posts were help­ful to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“Crim­i­nals do some crazy things,” Smith said. “They record them­selves com­mit­ting crimes, and we thank them for it. We en­cour­age the crim­i­nals to con­tinue to record your acts, and en­cour­age cit­i­zens to con­tinue to send us in­for­ma­tion when you find the crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing on cam­era and on so­cial me­dia.”

Smith said de­tec­tives were work­ing to con­firm the iden­ti­ties of the other two sus­pects, but said they be­lieve the group has com­mit­ted a se­ries of crimes in the area. Smith called it a “lit­tle crime spree.”

“We’ve said it over and over and over again, that our vi­o­lence is com­mit­ted by a small group of peo­ple who re­peat­edly do it,” he said. “This group is a per­fect ex­am­ple of that.”

Perry also has been charged in an at­tack Sept. 7 on a fe­male pizza de­liv­ery driver.

The vic­tim said she had been sent to de­liver an or­der to the 2400 block of Loyola North­way, in the Green­spring neigh­bor­hood of North­west Bal­ti­more. She knocked on the door and re­ceived no an­swer, and walked back to her car past a group of three males. One of them sud­denly grabbed her by her neck and be­gan chok­ing her.

The other two went through her pock­ets, re­mov­ing her cell­phone and her money.

Po­lice said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing other rob­beries in the 2400 block of Loyola North­way, in­clud­ing that of a cab­driver, when they found Perry this week, who was taken into cus­tody for ques­tion­ing.

Po­lice say Perry con­fessed to plac­ing the food or­der and said two men who were with him at­tacked the driver.

Af­ter­ward, he told of­fi­cers, they went to an apart­ment and ate the food they had stolen, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The vic­tim said all three males had par­tic­i­pated in the rob­bery.

City rob­beries con­tinue to rise. There have been 13 per­cent more rob­beries so far this year, a rise from 3,126 at this time last year to 3,523 this year. Car­jack­ings are up 43 per­cent, while street rob­beries have in­creased 17 per­cent, though com­mer­cial rob­beries have de­clined about 10 per­cent.

Sandy Sparks, pres­i­dent of the Charles Vil­lage Civic As­so­ci­a­tion and a founder of Friends of Wy­man Park Dell, said she hoped the crime wouldn’t de­ter peo­ple from visit­ing the park, which she said is safe.

“We’ve worked very hard to make the dell a beau­ti­ful, rest­ful place,” Sparks said. “The last thing we want is to have the im­pres­sion that it’s not safe to go there.”

Laws was or­dered held with­out bond Fri­day, while Perry was ini­tially or­dered held on $50,000 bond and a Dis­trict Court judge or­dered him held with­out bond at a bail re­view. Nei­ther ap­pears to have a prior crim­i­nal record. At­tor­neys were not yet listed in court records.

Zan­nay Laws

Dakei Perry

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