Ac­cu­sa­tions swirl around teen beat­ing in­ci­dent

Al­le­ga­tions made against vic­tim, in­ves­ti­ga­tors

The Covington News - - Crime & Courts - By Michelle Kim

Res­i­dents of the Cov­ing­ton neigh­bor­hood where seven teenagers were ar­rested last week for the rob­bery and as­sault of a 16-year-old boy say the in­ci­dent was con­nected to drugs the vic­tim was bring­ing to the area and say sev­eral of the boys were wrongly charged.

Mul­ti­ple res­i­dents, in­clud­ing two of the ar­rested ju­ve­niles’ moth­ers, two adult res­i­dents, and sev­eral high school-aged res­i­dents, re­ported the 16-yearold was known in the Hous­ing Author­ity neigh­bor­hood and had been fre­quent­ing the area for mar­i­juana for two or three months.

They stated he was in the neigh­bor­hood on the night of March 24 look­ing to ex­change pills for other drugs.

The vic­tim ad­mit­ted he had with him pain med­i­ca­tion pre­scribed for a shoul­der in­jury he re­ceived when he ran into a tree while rid­ing a four-wheeler. He said he didn’t re­mem­ber the name of the med­i­ca­tion, which he had just re­ceived hours ear­lier, but that it was taken out of his pocket dur­ing the rob­bery.

He said he vis­ited the neigh­bor­hood around three times, start­ing about two months ago, but he hadn’t been back since the rob­bery and as­sault.

The res­i­dents said the 16year-old was in the neigh­bor­hood again the next night.

The 16-year-old also said po­lice came to his house and ques­tioned him about drugs.

“(The of­fi­cer) ac­cused me of sell­ing drugs in the area that I was in. He said, ‘Ev­ery­body that we ar­rested told us that you were sell­ing drugs,’” said the 16-year-old. “That made me mad.”

CPDspokesper­son Dec­tec­tive Daniel Seals con­firmed the vic­tim had been ques­tioned about pos­ses­sion of drugs based on state­ments from other peo­ple.

Carla Pa­trick claimed her 15year-old son and sev­eral of the other ar­rested teens hap­pened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and were not in­volved in the as­sault.

She said many of the neigh­bor­hood kids were play­ing bas­ket­ball or hang­ing out at the bas­ket­ball court that night when the as­sault took place about 10 -to 15-yards away.

“The boys in the neigh­bor­hood def­i­nitely know they are wrong,” said res­i­dent Ken­dra Davis, of the boys that ini­ti­ated the as­sault and rob­bery. She had re­ported sep­a­rately that sev­eral of the ar­rested teens — in­clud­ing her 14-year-old son, who she said was visit­ing the area — were by­standers.

The vic­tim, in de­scrib­ing the as­sault, said he saw about eight to 10 males, but three of them were mainly do­ing the kick­ing and punch­ing.

Seals said the teens were ar­rested be­cause they were in­volved in the in­ci­dent. “We didn’t charge the charges be­cause they were in the area,” he said.

He said all the ar­rested ju­ve­niles ad­mit­ted to be­ing part of a gang that called them­selves the “Cor­po­ra­tion of Killers” and that all of them had told po­lice about how the gang op­er­ated.

Pa­trick said she didn’t know where the name “Cor­po­ra­tion of Killers” came from and that she had never heard of it be­fore, but that she and her son used to joke if they had money, they’d build a com­mu­nity cen­ter and call it the “Cor­po­ra­tion of Kids.”

She also said dur­ing her son’s in­ter­view, which she ob­served, the in­ter­view­ing of­fi­cer said her son would re­ceive harsher charges if he didn’t agree with what the po­lice were say­ing.

“He had me and my son scared,” said Pa­trick. “He said if we don’t go along with what he said, my son’s go­ing to big jail,” she said.

She told her son to go along. “I didn’t know no bet­ter, just like other par­ents didn’t know no bet­ter,” said Pa­trick.

When asked about the ac­cu­sa­tions, Seals said, “We’re not go­ing to field ques­tions about what we may or may not have said in an in­ter­view.”

The seven teens were ar­rested within a lit­tle over 24 hours af­ter the in­ci­dent and charged un­der the Ge­or­gia Street Gang Ter­ror­ism and Pre­ven­tion Act, which can in­crease the penal­ties they’d face if found guilty. Seals said the Act had not been used very of­ten in Cov­ing­ton. They were charged with rob­bery, ag­gra­vated as­sault and vi­o­la­tion of the Ge­or­gia Con­trolled Sub­stance Act, and three of the de­fen­dants were charged with de­struc­tion of ev­i­dence for try­ing to get rid of drugs in their pos­ses­sion.

Two of the de­fen­dants were con­sid­ered adults — Laquane Stroud, 17, of Cov­ing­ton, and Cleve­land Brady, 17, of Cov­ing­ton.

The rest ranged in age from 14 to 16.

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