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YOUNGSTOWN Cops pick up fourth suspect in kidnapping, rape



Published: Mon, August 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



In April, police had surrounded a duplex on the South Side looking for the boy picked up today.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A car stopped on the South Side today for no front license plate turned up the 16-year-old boy suspected of taking part in the kidnapping, rape and sodomy of a Boardman woman.

A few minutes past midnight, Patrolmen Marc Gillette and Steve Schiffhauer saw a white Oldsmobile 98 traveling north on Market Street without a front plate. When the officers stopped the car to issue a citation, they asked for identification from four young men inside, all wearing red bandanas.

The front-seat passenger identified himself as 16-year-old Eric Cofer of Willis Street. As he spoke, Gillette and Schiffhauer noticed that the teen-ager had several gold teeth and further matched the description of Chaz Bunch.

A pick-up order for Bunch on suspicion of rape, kidnapping and robbery was signed Friday by Detective Sgt. Delphine Baldwin-Casey. The boy was taken to the juvenile justice center today, where Casey said she would question him.

"Eric Cofer" is a name Bunch uses, said Casey, commander of the Crisis Intervention Unit.

The crime: Two men and two boys -- 15 and 16 -- had been out cruising and looking for people to rob last Tuesday night and, by the time they arrived on Detroit Avenue, they'd already robbed one woman, Casey said last week.

Police reports identify the 15-year-old boy as Brandon Moore of West Delason Avenue. Casey, who had intended to sign rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges against Moore on Friday, said they would be signed today.

The 21-year-old rape victim told police she had been abducted at gunpoint and raped on a side street off Market Street. She gave police the suspects' license plate number.

Police spotted the car, a black 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix, at the Dairy Mart on Mahoning Avenue and followed it to a house in the 300 block of Edwards Street. The driver had fled but the passengers were still in the car.

Items belonging to the victim were found in a bag in the car. Police determined that a .38-caliber handgun found in the bag was not hers.

The Boardman woman told police that she pulled into the Detroit Avenue driveway around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday and, as she had the trunk open, a man approached and put a gun to her head. She told him she had no money, he ordered her back in her car and took the keys, reports show.

The victim's car was driven to an unspecified spot off Market, followed by the black Grand Prix. The suspects told her to undress and lie on the ground.

The woman said she was raped and sodomized and forced to perform oral sex. While this took place, the two men who had followed in the black Grand Prix went through her car's trunk and glove compartment, Casey said.

The victim told police that when it was over, the suspect who had driven her car fired a shot into the air, then put the gun in her mouth, saying, "Since you were good, I won't kill you."

Casey determined, after interviewing the victim and the suspects last week, that only the boys, not the young men, took part in the rape.

At arraignment Thursday in municipal court, Judge Robert P. Milich set bond at $450,000 for Andre Bundy, 18, of West Hylda Avenue on charges of complicity to kidnapping and two counts of complicity to aggravated robbery. Bond for Jamar A. Callier, 21, of West Delason Avenue was set at $300,000 on charges of aggravated robbery and complicity to kidnapping.

It's not the first time, meanwhile, that police have had a pick-up order for Bunch.

The last time was in April, when detectives wanted to question him about the assault-rifle killing of a boy his own age with whom he'd been feuding. Brandon M. Pete, 16, of Willis Avenue was killed April 7 in a drive-by shooting.

No charges related to the homicide were filed against Bunch. But the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force, city police and others had converged at a Southern Boulevard duplex with pick-up orders for Bunch. He faced felony charges, unrelated to the homicide, of shooting into a habitation and receiving stolen property, Lt. Robin Lees said at the time.

meade@vindy.com




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