by Jordan Green

Bilingual robbers needed

The would-be robber who targeted Taqueria El Azteca on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro on Oct. 10 might have benefited from attending the Black/ Brown Conference at Genesis Baptist Church the previous weekend. Criminals in the Gate City appear to lack the cultural sensitivity and language skills of their more sophisticated peers in cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Police report that two black suspects entered the taqueria, one after the other. After a clerk went to fetch a glass of water for the first, the second suspect entered with a shotgun and demanded money from the cash register. The second clerk, who apparently spoke only Spanish, reportedly “advised” that she did not understand what the suspect wanted. On the other hand maybe the language barrier helped botch the robbery. The police press release goes on to say that the second suspect discharged a round from the shotgun into the ceiling and pointed the weapon at the clerk, before the two suspects gave up in frustration and ran out the front door to a waiting getaway car.

For best results, leave drugs at home

Carrying around crack and marijuana is one thing, breaking into a house is another, but doing both at the same time is really asking for trouble. When a Winston- Salem police officer responded to a call from 35-yearold Francisco Andreas Tomas on Oct. 10, they found the back door of his house open and three suspects holding items lifted from the residence. Twenty-oneyear-old Rashawn Bartholomew Smith, the only adult in the trio was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, while the two other suspects, 14 and 15, were charged with breaking and entering. Police found crack cocaine, marijuana, jewelry and money on the three suspects, who reportedly confessed to numerous auto breakings.

Homecoming and robbing

NC A&T University’s homecoming weekend features the resurrection of an old pastime: cruising. The early morning hours on Sunday saw High Point Road was clogged with traffic moving at a crawl from Hilltop Road north toward Interstate 40, and police directing traffic at the Holden Road intersection. Thieves took advantage of the congestion by robbing Auto Bell Car Wash and an Exxon gas station. In the first incident, an 18-year-old black male wearing a black doo-rag and armed with a semi-automatic handgun reportedly entered Auto Bell at 1:30 a.m. and demanded cash before fleeing on foot. Police reported that some of the money was later found behind the Smokey Bones restaurant. Fifteen minutes later, a black male wearing a mask and dark clothing reportedly entered the Exxon station with a silver handgun and ordered clerks to empty money from two cash registers into a brown bag. The suspect fled northward, and a police dog reportedly located a cell phone and glove along the path, but the lost the trail two blocks north of High Point Road on Merritt Drive.

When a vehicle becomes a weapon

Greensboro police responded to a robbery call at around dawn on Oct. 7 at Calumet Place, and found 30-year-old Claude Garner injured. Thieves had stolen tools from Garner’s van, but worse yet two black-male suspects apparently used the vehicle as a weapon against its owner. Police reported that Garner had been dragged from the van, beaten and robbed before “the vehicle came to rest on the victim’s body, running over his left arm, the left stomach area and his right arm.”

Occupational hazard

The new Fulton Place Apartments, built as student housing near UNCG, have perked up a once-blighted section of West Lee Street in Greensboro. An Oct. 10 incident highlights one occupational hazard of security work, and underscores the need for it in this transitional area. Responding to a call in reference to a fight in progress, police officers located security guard Wayman Smith, who reported that he had been beaten by several black males who took cellular phones and other items. Officers reportedly located Tya Bean, 20, Netanis Bean, 23, and Corey Wright, also 20, in a nearby apartment and charged them with robbery.

Out of control

When Winston-Salem police were called to Starlight Valley Apartments Sunday evening to respond to an assault on a female, their presence didn’t do much to calm down the suspect. The victim reportedly warned Officer Slater that her assailant, Clarence Jacobs McMillian, had a gun, and sure enough the suspect exited a vehicle and charged the officer. McMillian reportedly kicked Slater in the head and neck area. Police were later told that McMillian had abducted the woman, his ex-girlfriend, at gunpoint from her residence. Then he reportedly assaulted her by striking her in the face, and fired several shots from the window of his vehicle while driving on Starlight Drive. McMillian was charged with kidnapping, assault on a government official, assault on a female and discharging firearms, and held on $250,000 bail.