By Joe Johnson
Three local street gang members were recently arrested for a robbery and a related shooting incident last month, according to an Athens-Clarke County police official.
The chain of events began on Aug. 9 with an altercation between rival gang members at the Fun Galaxy Athens skating rink on Cherokee Road, which involved two juvenile victims ages 14 and 16 but was not reported to police, according to Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Athens-Clarke County police Criminal Investigations Division.
Two days later, on Aug. 11, purported Piru street gang members Jaden Makale Appling and Jeremiah Rolling, both 17, and an unknown third person saw the juveniles in the area of Cedar Shoals Drive.
They reportedly chased the juveniles, and upon catching the 14-year-old boy at 1287 Shoals Apartments, they allegedly beat him, stole his cellphone, some money, and a bandana, which Nichols said was a “flag” that represented membership with the Red Tape Gang.
The 16-year-old boy was able to escape and seek refuge in an apartment in the complex.
“After the robbery, Nigel Turner and another person unknown went to Bethel Midtown Village to retaliate on behalf of the two juveniles,” Nichols said.
“Turner and the person unknown shot firearms inside of Bethel Homes at other suspected rival gang members and one projectile struck an occupied apartment,” he said.
Appling and Rolling were arrested Sept. 2 on warrants charging them each with robbery and violating the state Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
Turner, 22, of Huntington Court and a member of Red Tape Gang, was arrested Aug. 31 on warrants charging him with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and violation of the gang act.
Investigations were ongoing, Nichols said, and he asked that anyone with further information on these cases contact Detective Mike Carroll at (762) 400-7098 or call the Crime Stoppers tip Line at (706) 705-4775.