Updated: Nov 7
By Joe Johnson
A Superior Court grand jury has indicted an Athens teen in connection with a gang-related beating of a rival during an illegal pool party at a student housing complex.
That gang member and two other victims were injured by gunfire during the incident six months ago at The Retreat on Milledge, which largely caters to University of Georgia students.
Kobe Watkins, 19, of Bonnie Lane was charged with battery and violating the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, according to the indictment that was filed Oct. 31.
Watkins, who the indictment identifies as belonging to the Red Tape Gang (RTG), participated in a group beating of the victim, a purported member of the Everybody Eats gang (EBE), but was not indicted as the person who shot the victim.
Also arrested for pool incident was 19-year-old Zapond Charbijus Byrd of Parkview Homes, who was police charged with reckless conduct for shooting a gun “in the middle of a large group of people,” according to the arrest warrant.
At the time of the pool shooting Byrd had a firearms charge pending in State Court.
It is unknown if prosecutors have sought an indictment for Byrd from the grand jury that operates under secrecy rules.
Though he was not arrested for a gang act violation, Athens-Clarke County police said that Byrd belongs to RTG, and a 15-year-old male who is reportedly is an RTG affiliate was also arrested and charged with battery, violating the anti-gang law and making false statements to police. He was
subsequently transferred into the custody of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
The shooting occurred May 31 during a large gathering of trespassers at The Retreat that included members of RTG who jumped the EBE member who showed up at the pool party that was attended by about 50 trespassers, according to police and court documents.
Prior to the group beating, a witness heard Watkins tell the victim, “You’re a bitch, stop coming to my side of town,” according to an arrest warrant.
When arrested for that incident Watkins was also served an aggravated assault warrant for allegedly shooting into the occupied home of the same EBE member on Jan. 12.
While officers were conducting interviews and collecting spent shell casings and other evidence at the scene of the incident, police said, a 20-year-old Athens man who did not live at The Retreat arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his foot that he received at the pool party. A third person was also injured by gunfire, police said.
Authorities believe that the incident at the student housing complex was a continuation of a violent feud between the two gangs that resulted in a homicide two months earlier.
Police said that on the night of March 5 in a Five Points neighborhood across from the UGA campus, RTG members were attending a gang party at a Northview Drive residence when a carload of EBE affiliates targeted the house with a fusillade of gunfire that fatally injured 24-year-old Ja’Vanni McDavid, a member of RTG.
Police said that during the incident more than 40 rounds were fired during an exchange of gunfire between occupants of the car and people attending the party.
Four members of the EBE gang have since been indicted for murder under the anti-gang statute in connection with McDavid’s death.
According to police, RTG and EBE are competing subsets of Sex, Money and Murda, which is set of the United Bloods Nation street gang organization.
Watkins has been jailed without bail, and his arraignment on the indictment is scheduled for Dec. 8.