Sev­eral ar­rested for the beat­ing, rob­bery of a teen

Teens charged for act­ing as a gang un­der 2006 leg­is­la­tion

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Michelle Kim

Seven teens were ar­rested and charged for act­ing as a gang in con­nec­tion with the as­sault and rob­bery of a Cov­ing­ton ju­ve­nile, ac­cord­ing to the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice De­part­ment.

The teens, who called them­selves the “Cor­po­ra­tion of Killers” or COK, were all charged un­der the Ge­or­gia Street Gang Ter­ror­ism and Pre­ven­tion Act, leg­is­la­tion passed in 2006 that can in­crease or even dou­ble the penal­ties faced by de­fen­dants when they com­mit crimes as part of a street gang, ac­cord­ing to CPD spokesper­son De­tec­tive Daniel Seals.

They were also charged with rob­bery, ag­gra­vated as­sault, vi­o­la­tion of the Ge­or­gia Con­trolled Sub­stances Act, and a few were charged with de­struc­tion of ev­i­dence for try­ing to de­stroy drugs in their pos­ses­sion, said Seals.

Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Chief Stacey Cot­ton said this type of gang ac­tiv­ity was rare.

“When we come across that kind of ac­tiv­ity, we’re go­ing to in­ves­ti­gate it to the fullest ex­tent,” said Cot­ton. “I want the com­mu­nity to know, when the in­for­ma­tion is there, we won’t just ar­rest one per­son, we’ll ar­rest ev­ery­one in­volved if we can prove it.”

The de­fen­dants, which com­prised most of the gang, were in­ter­viewed, ar­rested and charged and the case solved in a lit­tle more than 24 hours af­ter the as­sault and rob­bery, said Seals, due to the work of lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor Sgt. Arvo Bowen, pri­mary re­spond­ing Of­fi­cer Gene Nuqui and other of­fi­cers on the shift.

“We haven’t used the act very of­ten at all,” said Seals. He said kids would go around to­gether in friend­ship packs, but they wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily make them­selves a gang.

Two of the de­fen­dants were con­sid­ered adults — Laquane Stroud, 17, of Cov­ing­ton, and Cleve­land Brady, 17, of Cov­ing­ton — and the rest ranged in age from 14 to 16.

The group, which mostly came from the Hous­ing Author­ity area with one mem­ber liv­ing in a nearby neigh­bor­hood and one liv­ing in Cony­ers, told po­lice about their gang and how it worked, said Seals. He said they told po­lice there was no leader and all mem­bers had an equal say.

Cot­ton de­scribed the COK’s ac­tiv­i­ties as not very com­plex, partly be­cause most of them couldn’t drive, but that the group was on its way to be­com­ing more vi­o­lent.

“They’d pick on some­body, and even­tu­ally some­one’s go­ing to get hurt,” he said.

The group al­legedly beat and robbed a 16-year-old while he was walk­ing home along the rail­road tracks on the evening of March 24.

The vic­tim, who is still heal­ing from his in­juries, de­scribed the sight of eight to 10 boys run­ning at him.

“When I looked back, it looked like a herd of rac­ing horses,” he said.

He said a friend had heard some of the boys brag­ging dur­ing school about what they had done.

Al­though some of the group mem­bers are al­ready out on bond, he said he did not feel par­tic­u­larly threat­ened, but had seen strange ve­hi­cles stop out­side his house.

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