EAST SIDE CRIME Suspects detained to await hearing
Four adults had high bonds set; two juveniles face charges.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Young men accused of shooting at houses or police -- or both -- on the East Side respect nothing, a councilman said.
Rufus Hudson, D-2nd, said it's fortunate that four suspects in a stolen 1990 Cadillac were spotted so quickly Friday. Three are in custody with bonds of $1 million or more, and the fourth is being detained at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.
"There would have been more violence, not just the shooting at the officers," Hudson said Tuesday. "I think they were on a mission to go and find someone else. ... whatever they were about to do was averted before they had an opportunity to use those guns on some other individuals."
A massive dragnet was put in motion after the Cadillac was taken at gunpoint from a Mount Zion Church secretary Friday afternoon. The suspects who exchanged gunfire with police abandoned the car and eluded capture Friday but were found and arrested Saturday morning.
Hudson said he and Police Chief Robert E. Bush Jr. discussed over the weekend the idea of saturation patrols. The councilman said residents of his ward were delighted to hear the news that extra police would be on the streets.
"We need to send a clear and distinct message that this type of lawless activity won't be tolerated," Hudson said. "I think saturation patrols, increased visibility will instill a sense of security to people."
The chief said "a couple dozen" officers will be pulled from specialized units and deployed to certain sections of the East Side. He hopes the presence quells the violence of two feuding groups who engaged in shootouts.
Bush spoke after four men accused of firing at houses or police or both last week with assault rifles and a 9mm handgun were arraigned Tuesday in municipal court. He said anyone who shoots at police is saying: "The hell with society."
Municipal Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly set bond for these men:
UJumal Edwards, 21, of Woodcrest Avenue, aggravated robbery and six counts of felonious assault on a police officer. The robbery charge accuses him of using a gun to steal the Cadillac from the church secretary. His bond is $4.5 million.
UDuniek Christian, 20, of North Garland Avenue, six counts of felonious assault on a police officer, another unrelated felonious assault and two counts of firing into a habitation. The latter three charges accuse him of shooting at Edwin Alvarez and firing into residences at 220 and 224 S. Pearl St. last Wednesday. Christian's bond is $3.9 million.
UBrandon C. Jackson, 21, of North Truesdale Avenue, felonious assault and two counts of firing into a habitation. He accused of shooting at Alvarez and firing into residences at 220 and 224 S. Pearl St. last Wednesday. Jackson's bond is $1 million.
UAntoine D. White, 19, of South Forest Street, felonious assault and firing into a habitation. He is accused of shooting at William Cruz and firing at 220 South Pearl St. last Wednesday. White's bond is $1 million.
Judge Kobly said if any of the four are able to make bond, they will be placed on electronically monitored house arrest. Although police said Jackson was also in the stolen Cadillac with Christian, Edwards and Craig Franklin Jr., a juvenile, Bush said detectives are still determining if Jackson fired at officers.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said that the case is too "convoluted" to have it ready for direct presentment to a grand jury this week. Had it been directly presented, the preliminary hearing set for Monday in municipal court would have been canceled.
The juveniles who face charges are:
UFranklin, 17, address not available. Reports show him as one of the four suspects in the stolen Cadillac. Police initially gave his age as 18. Anthony D'Apolito, juvenile court administrator, said Tuesday that charges hadn't been filed yet.
UAdam Christian, 16, of North Garland Avenue is accused of firing at Cruz and firing into a habitation at 220 S. Pearl last Wednesday, reports show. He was arraigned Saturday in juvenile court. D'Apolito said no hearing date was set yet.
Police have said the shootings last Wednesday evening on South Pearl were followed that night by retaliation shootings on Grandview Avenue. Jumal Edwards' 18-year-old brother died from the gunfire on Grandview.
'On a mission'
Detective Sgt. Mike Lambert has said the four men in the Cadillac had likely been "on a mission" Friday afternoon to avenge the murder of Edwards' brother.
Detective Sgt. John Kelty, who is investigating the Deandre Edwards homicide, has identified the feuding families as "the Christians and the Apontes." He declined to give a motive.
Lt. Robin Lees has said detectives have two suspects from the second group.
Hudson said he has a problem with the East Side being portrayed as a "war ground" because had the shooters found who they were looking for on the South Side, the violence would have taken place there. He said it could have taken place in Boardman or Austintown if that's where they came upon their enemies.
Most East Side residents had nothing to do with what happened, the councilman said. He described those arrested as career criminals who began committing crimes as juveniles.
"If you want to know who's going to be in the criminal justice system in 2010, look at who's in the juvenile justice system now," Hudson said. "It's predictable."