Report: Teens charged with attempted murder released with no bail in police-defunded NYC

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Two juvenile suspects that allegedly non-fatally shot a 45-year-old man earlier in April were reportedly released from custody following their arraignments, with sources proclaiming that the juvenile suspects were released without bail.

Authorities allege that two juvenile suspects, ages 16 and 17, had purportedly shot a 45-year-old male in the thigh on April 15th at approximately 4:30 PM at the pergola hotel in New York City.

The teens had allegedly gotten into a physical altercation with the victim, with the 16-year-old reportedly giving a handgun to the 17-year-old, who authorities say was the person that pulled the trigger.

Officers were reportedly near the area when receiving the shotspotter notification and had arrested the two juvenile suspects after responding to the hotel.

Police were said to have recovered a handgun and also found a magazine in one of the suspects pockets. Witnesses were said to have identified the suspects for authorities.

The juveniles in this case were said to have been charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

However, sources allege that the two suspects or released from custody following their April 16th arraignments held in the Queens Criminal Court.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office noted that they cannot provide details pertaining to the case do too the two suspects being tried as juveniles. As for the victim, he was reportedly treated at Jamaica hospital for the non-life-threatening injury.

Officials have not revealed the identity of the victim in this case.

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In other recent cases involving juveniles, four girls in Pennsylvania were recently arrested and released into the custody of their parents after allegedly setting a duplex on fire that resulted in two first responders suffering injuries. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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FERNDALE, PA – A group of juveniles consisting of three 14-year-old girls and a 12-year-old girl have been charged in connection with an arson incident at a residential home where a police officer and a firefighter were reportedly injured in connection to responding to the house fire.

With the home seemingly beyond salvage and the injuries to the first responders, the four juvenile suspects, when asked regarding their motivation for the arson incident, allegedly told investigators they did it because “they were bored.”

Four juvenile suspects are facing some serious charges from an April 3rd residential arson incident, consisting of felony arson, causing catastrophe, trespassing, and endangerment.

Ferndale Borough Police Chief John Blake says that the four juvenile suspects had allegedly entered an unoccupied duplex in Cambria County, throwing lit pieces of paper into a shoebox on a couch inside of the duplex and then using the likes of Lysol and bug spray as an accelerant to cause the flame to spread.

And spread those flames did, with officials saying that the fire destroyed the duplex and also forced an evacuation of the adjacent homes that wound up damaged from the fire – as well as parked cars nearby.

The residential fire obviously commanded an amalgamation of first responders, with officials saying that an Upper Yoder Township Police officer wound up needing treatment for smoke inhalation and a local firefighter was treated for an unspecified medical issue.

According to reports, both the officer and the firefighter were released from the hospital shortly after receiving treatment. Investigators wound up tracking down the juvenile suspects due to social media posts where the juveniles allegedly posted a video to Snapchat of themselves starting the fire.

Officials also found that the suspects allegedly returned to the scene after starting the fire, with investigators finding photos of the juvenile suspects at the scene while firefighters we’re trying to put out the flames at the duplex.

Borough Police Chief Blake says that when investigators were interrogating the suspects to determine what motivated them to allegedly start the fire, investigators were reportedly told by the suspects it was because “they were bored.”

After the juvenile suspects were arrested and charged in connection to the incident, they were later released to the custody of their parents. Chief Blake says that he’s glad that no one was seriously hurt or killed from the incident:

“I’m just thankful the injuries weren’t more severe, or these girls could be facing homicide charges.”

Due to the age of the suspects, officials have not released their names. The cases for all four juveniles will reportedly be handled by Cambria County Juvenile Court.

Meanwhile, in California, a juvenile murder suspect is reportedly not being prosecuted as an adult in Los Angeles – despite the suspected murderer having been 17 at the time of the killing. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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LOS ANGELES, CA – District Attorney George Gascón is causing a strife once again with his office’s prosecutorial approach, where a case regarding a 2017 murder allegedly committed by a then-17-year-old juvenile gang member will not be further pursued in the adult court system.

This, of course, has caused the victim’s family immense grief over the matter.

Back in September of 2017, 40-year-old Ontario Courtney’s car broke down in the wrong part of South Los Angeles, in a Hoover’s gang-controlled town.

According to prosecutors, while he was waiting for AAA, four members of the Main Street Mafia Crips gang spotted him, pulled up alongside him, and shot at him at least 36 times.

Sadly, Courtney did not survive the shooting.

Prosecutors allege that Courtney had been mistaken for a member of the Hoovers gang, which is a Main Street Mafia Crips’ rival.

The victim’s younger sister, Aja Courtney, spoke of the senseless loss of her brother:

“My brother had no gang affiliation. I can’t even put into words how much I miss him, me and him were 7 years apart, 7 days apart.”

One of the shooters allegedly involved in the murder was identified as then-17-year-old Jalen Yoakum.

The then-juvenile at the time of the murder not only hosted a lengthy criminal record as a youth but was also a devout member of the Main Street Mafia Crips.

Back in December of 2020, former District Attorney Jackie Lacey had filed a motion to have Yoakum (who is now 20 years old) prosecuted within the adult court system.

Prosecutors showed that while Yoakum was in juvenile hall, he managed to post on social media his undying allegiance to none other than the Main Street Mafia Crips.

Clearly, said displays are hardly a sign of remorse when accused of murder.

Prosecutors have pointed to photographs of Yoakum handling guns, as well as his tattoos and clothes bearing the letters “HK,” which stand for “Hoover Killer.”

They also discovered a troubling Snapchat video of Yoakum executing drive-by shootings with a paintball gun, in which one video shows him shooting a homeless person in the head.

Yet, according to former DA Lacey, newly elected DA Gascón stepped into office and sullied the entire effort:

“And so we’re like, with all this evidence, it should be easy to transfer him to adult court. And we’re right at the point when we were gonna do the transfer hearing when Gascón comes in and he’s like, this stops immediately.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Per the reforms that Gascón ushered in, he yanked the effort to have Yoakum’s murder case handled within the adult system and filed to have the gang and gun enhancements against him dropped.

During a recent press conference to tout his approach to prosecutions, Gascón boasted about his leniency toward alleged juvenile offenders which has specifically affected this murder case:

“We have ended the practice of prosecuting children as adults. Since taking office, we have withdrawn 77 pending motions to transfer kids to adult court.”

Dr. Rahn Minagawa is among those who is championing these practices brought into office via Gascón, repeating the trope that the human brain has not reached its peak development from an emotional maturity aspect until one turns 25 years old:

“Sixteen and seventeen year olds are not adults. Their brains are not fully developed, this is what we know from the science.”

While Dr. Minagawa is correct in that juveniles around the age of 16 or 17 years old are often absent of their potential peak emotional maturity to process appropriate responses to nuanced matters, there’s hardly any absenteeism of understanding at 16 or 17 on whether murdering someone is appropriate.

And the victim’s sister in this case is calling hogwash on this notion set by Dr. Minagawa, citing exactly that:

“I absolutely disagree. I think that you and I, and most of the people in this country are outliers to that. We’ve all had underdeveloped brains before age 25, and we don’t make those same decisions and those same choices.”

Allyson Ostrowski, a pro-bono attorney that his helping Courtney in this matter, concurs that there’s no reason for Yoakum’s case to not be handled within the adult court system:

“If you wanna go out there and act like a man and shoot and kill people, then you should be treated that way.”

“For Mr. Yoakum, you’ve been in the criminal justice system since you were 12 and you’ve been offered service after service, program after program, and you’ve not taken advantage of any of that. You’ve just continued to be part of the gang, that makes you one of the people that needs to be tried as an adult.”

Yoakum has already plead guilty to the murder charge earlier in March, and since he’s being treated as a juvenile, he will be out of prison by the time he’s 25 years old.

The fact that Yoakum is only going to do less than an additional 5 years because he murdered someone months before he turned 18 is what Ostrowski finds the most abhorrent in all this:

“It’s extremely upsetting to have somebody that was just months shy of their 18th birthday only serve 6-7 years on a murder, it’s just not enough time.”

Courtney is simply distraught in all this, having lost her older brother, and knowing his killer will be free by the time he is 25 years-old:

“They’re basically telling you that we’re gonna treat these juveniles like victims, your brother is no longer the victim. It’s not just a slap in the face, it’s a danger to the community, when you really look at Gascon’s policy, several of his policies he says he’s addressing public safety, well if he cared about public safety, you wouldn’t put these guys back on the streets.”

Despite numerous attempts to have DA Gascón’s office reconsider their position on this case, Courtney says that none of her emails to the DA have gotten a response.

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