CLEVELAND, OH — A suspect who was indicted on two attempted murder charges, felonious assault and other serious charges failed to show up to court after posting a low bond amount.
Now, an arrest warrant has been issued for Anthony J. Grier of Cleveland, who failed to make his initial appearance on the charges at Cuyahoga County Court last Friday.
Grier was indicted on the charges after allegedly shooting police who responded to a domestic dispute in the driveway of a home on East 96th Street on Dec. 15, according to a report by Cleveland 19 News.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors have said a low bond from the city municipal court allowed the suspect to bail out of jail despite his history of failing to show up to court.
A Cuyahoga County prosecutor had requested Grier’s bond be increased from $50,000 to $1 million, according to the report.
Cleveland 19 News reported the prosecutor said:
“A $50,000 bond is unreasonable given the seriousness of the charges, the weight of the evidence, the defendant’s access to firearms, and the risk of flight he poses.
“Upon being interviewed by detectives the defendant [Grier] admitted to firing his weapon two times at officers, claiming that he just ‘lost it.’”
Councilman Michael Polensek, who is also the Chairman of the Safety Committee and the longest-serving councilman, told a Cleveland 19 News reporter that everyone deserves due process through the courts.
However, Polensek also said he would like to hear from the courts, including the juvenile court system, about whether any interdiction or follow-up is done for violent, repeat offenders.
Bail reform is being considered at Ohio Statehouse https://t.co/POvMkGavTK— lisa witham (@cheezwitham) November 13, 2021
Polensek told Cleveland 19 News that victims are paying the price for a criminal justice system that continues to let violent criminals back on the streets.
The news station noted that it is working on finding out which judge made the decision on the initial bond and will report if a comment is made.
School shooting suspect released on "ridiculously low" bond https://t.co/vXWZ8jrtBl— SearchWarrant (@SearchWarrant1) October 8, 2021
Last fall, an 18-year-old high school student was accused of injuring four people in a shooting incident at Timberview High School in South Arlington, Texas on Oct. 6.
The suspect, Timothy George Simpkins, allegedly pulled out a gun during a fight between students in a classroom on the second floor of the school.
Simpkins allegedly fired his gun and injured two students and two adults and then fled the scene. However, he was taken into custody about four hours later, according to a report by NBC 5.
Simpkins was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Authorities also recovered a .45 caliber firearm during the course of their investigation.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating how Simpkins acquired a gun.
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However, despite the serious nature of the charges, Simpkins was released after paying a $75,000 bond the very next day.
When Simpkins left a probation office by the Tarrant County Jail, NBC 5 asked the suspect several questions, including whether he had anything to say to the victims of the shooting, if he was sorry and if he was bullied.
Simpkins just shook his head and did not respond to the questions, according to NBC 5.
However, it was reported his family claimed Simpkins was the victim of bullying by more than one person because he had nice and more material things than other teens owned.
New York Post reported:
“The student accused of opening fire at a Texas high school had been bullied over his financially ‘blessed’ family, fancy clothes and $35,000 car — and bought a handgun for protection, his relatives say.”
Simpkins was reported as living in a $400,000 home with his grandmother, Lillie, and driving a 2018 Dodge Charger, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
The family also claimed they reported the bullying incidents to school officials and nothing was done about it, NBC 5 reported.
In a separate NBC 5 report, a woman who identified herself as Simpkins’ mother said she would be speaking out for her son, who she believed was the victim of bullying.
Another relative and spokesperson for the family, Carol Harrison-Lafayette, told media:
“The decision he made taking the gun, we’re not justifying that. That was not right, but he was trying to protect himself and so we hope the police department does the investigation properly.
“There will be independent investigations that will be done as well so that we can get to the bottom of really what happened.”
tell me you live in a bail reform city pic.twitter.com/0ToPz6zwR3— Joe Del Norte (@joe_norte) January 3, 2022
The case has become a bit more complex following video that captured the moments leading up to the shooting.
Daily Mail reported:
“A video of the brawl was released on Facebook by Simpkins’ cousin on Wednesday in an attempt to prove that he was being bullied.
“The footage shows him in a light colored hoodie being repeatedly punched by another teenager as teachers call for help.”
The video that was referenced in the family’s statement has been mostly scrubbed from social media.
However, Law Enforcement Today obtained a copy of the video depicting the fight that preceded the shooting incident.
The video allegedly shows the inside of a Timberview High School classroom. An unidentified student is seen beating another student, who the family claimed was Simpkins.
The unidentified student is seen violently ramming another student into a bookshelf in the classroom, knocking him to the ground and then punching him several times.
The student identified as Simpkins by his family attempts to cover his face while bending over as the unidentified student continues to punch him.
CBS 11 reported that the Arlington police chief did not believe that bullying had any role in the shooting:
“Police Chief Al Jones said the department’s investigation did not uncover evidence of bullying being involved in the shooting, and alleged that Simpkins was involved in ‘high-risk activity’ with another student.”
Timothy Simpkins, the teen suspect in the Texas mass school shooting who was quickly bailed out, has been re-arrested for violating the conditions of his release. Simpkins’ family originally said he was bullied but no evidence has surfaced to support that. https://t.co/kqNrbUtjOW— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) December 25, 2021
Media reports indicated that a family party was thrown for Simpkins after he posted his initial bond and was released.
While specific details of Simpkins’ alleged bond violation were not available, Post Millennial reported:
“According to the conditions of his bond, he is to wear a tracking device at all times, undergo regular testing for drug and alcohol use, and be under house arrest.”
A department spokesperson said that Simpkins, 18, had been arrested for an alleged “violation of his bond requirements and is now being held at the Tarrant County Jail.” https://t.co/3DbtkUUewq— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) December 25, 2021
CBS 11 reported:
“Part of Simpkins’ bond conditions were to abstain from drug use and not to possess alcohol.
“Online court records show that a urinalysis drug test came back positive, although they did not say what that test came back positive for.
“Tarrant County Jail records indicate that Simpkins was arrested on Dec. 23 and is still facing three charges of Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon in relation to the October 6 shooting.
“His bond has been set at a total of $79,500.”
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