Five people are charged after a teen was beaten with a baseball bat in the Grandin area. Police say 19-year-old Jermaine Peavy is charged with malicious wounding.
According to the Roanoke Police Department, he attacked the teen with a baseball bat Sunday night. Four others, including three juveniles, are charged with malicious wounding by a mob.
Those who live in Grandin say they can't believe this happened in their neighborhood.
“I just never thought something like this would happen around here. It's really quiet; very community oriented. There's not a whole lot of negative energy around here,” said Summer Morris.
Roanoke police say this is an isolated incident. We're told the victim's injuries are serious, but not life threatening.
Here is the news release from the Roanoke Police Department:
On July 6, 2014 at 10:24 p.m. Roanoke Police responded to the 1300 block of Grandin Road SW. As of today a total of five suspects have been charged in this incident, two adults and three juveniles. Jermaine Peavy, age 19, of Roanoke is charged with one count of malicious wounding. Khalil Marquise Taylor, age 19, of Roanoke is charged with malicious wounding by mob. All three remaining juveniles are also charged with malicious wounding by mob.
Officers and Detectives have conducted numerous interviews and collected potential physical evidence during this on going investigation. At this point, evidence and interviews indicate that the individual suspects, and some individuals associated with the victim of the aggravated assault, had previous interactions with each other before a disagreement resulted in conflict. Interviews indicate the conflict involved previous drug transactions and larcenies. However, the victim of the malicious wounding apparently had not been part of any of these previous interactions.
Between 8 and 9 p.m. on July 6th, individuals clashed verbally in the area of the 1300 block of Grandin Road. Evidence does not indicate any physical altercation at that time. Interviews suggest the victim's associates demanded the suspects leave the Grandin Village area and this was supported by independent individuals not involved in the altercation, who also encouraged the suspects to leave. Several witnesses told detectives they overheard the suspects say "We're coming back," before riding off on bicycles.
At approximately 10:20 p.m. the suspects returned on their bicycles and engaged in a confrontation.
Based on the description of events there has been a question as to whether this is criminal gang activity and if the offenders should be charged as such. There is no indication at this time that any of the individuals and their associates involved meet the Code of Virginia standards to be considered a "criminal street gang" and that aspect was closely investigated. At this point the elements required by the code have not been met. The individuals are loosely associated based on where they lived and the activities in which they engaged.
Apparently various individuals decided they would engage in illicit activities to include theft and drug use, which spiraled out of control when they realized that not all relationships involving drug transactions are built on trust. This also resulted in an uninvolved associate being assaulted.
While the actions of those suspects in the assault could in general terms be viewed as a gang, any applicable code available to the police department for gang charges could not be applied. As a result, violence by mob was the most applicable charge in the situation. While this type of activity is unacceptable, the specific laws are in place to clearly define the organization and intent of individuals associated with defined gangs as opposed to loosely associated individuals who decide to commit crimes. There are clearly previous relationships between many of the individuals involved in this incident. We do not expect this information to satisfy anyone who may fear or believe this activity is gang related by perception. However, the law is clearly defined in this area and is in place to protect individuals from being unfairly charged as gang members based on perception alone. This in no way indicates that we deny the existence of gangs in Roanoke, because they do exist. However at this point in this investigation gang charges do not apply.
Since the investigation is on-going, anyone with any information can call the Roanoke Valley Crime Line at 540-344-8500. All tips are anonymous.