Jeremy Turnage and Tanita Gaither, WISTV, July 27, 2017
Richland County Sheriff’s Department says three teens have been arrested in a crime spree that was escalating from a delivery robbery to armed robberies to a near sexual assault. And the victims were targeted because of their race, according to Sheriff Leon Lott.
“This was a crime spree. They would not have stopped,” Lott said. “They made a statement that they did not like white people and they were only going to rob white people.”
Lott says the two suspects, 17-year-old Raquan Green and a 15-year-old whose name has not been released, were arrested Wednesday. The third suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was taken into custody at his home on Walcott Street. Lott says the trio used racism to pick their victims.
The third suspect resisted arrest and injured an RSCD investigator in the process. The investigator had to be hospitalized with a leg injury and is expected to be OK. The suspect is now being charged with assault on a police officer while resisting arrest. Sheriff Lott says that should the investigator require surgery or an extensive hospital stay, charges may be upgraded.
“Between July 3 and July 26 there have been seven separate incidents of armed robberies, some to include carjacking and kidnapping along the Bluff /Shop Road Corridor,” Lott said. “Investigators discovered that the suspects began targeting delivery drivers by committing armed robberies. The crimes then escalated to carjacking and kidnapping victims.”
The crime spree started on July 3 when a food delivery driver was robbed. Two more incidents of food delivery robberies happened on July 15 and July 17. On July 19, a food delivery driver was robbed and forced to drive to an ATM and withdraw money.
All the incidents happened late at night where delivery drivers were targeted and students were moving into student housing or leaving apartments in the area.
Lott says one of the victims, who was African American, was released from the suspects when they found out she was not white.
Green appeared in court and was given $40,000 bond during his first court appearance Thursday. He also appeared in a second bond hearing on Friday on an additional weapons possession charge and given a $35,000 bond.
Jordan, the only victim who spoke at the press conference, said she was returning home to her apartment at The Village Apartments on Southern Drive from work on July 26 around 12:15 a.m. when a group of three black males pushed her to the ground and placed a gun to her head.
The report says the men threatened to kill her unless she drove them to a nearby ATM. She complied, the report said, and withdrew $300 from her account.
It was at that point, according to the incident report, one of the men told the victim she was going to be used for sex at his “auntie’s” house, but the victim found a way to escape by jumping out of her moving vehicle on Blair Road.
The victim, identified by the sheriff’s department only by her first name Jordan, the report said, ran back to the interstate and flagged down another person who gave her a ride to a nearby gas station. Jordan has detailed the incident in several posts on Twitter.
Because of her actions, the sheriff’s department has nicknamed Jordan “James Bond.”