EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 29, 2013

Victim: Men charged in beating are gang members

Five punched, kicked city man, police say

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — Police arrested two men believed to be members of violent street gangs and charged them with beating another man.

The men charged are each being held on $10,000 cash bail.

The victim told police that during the incident, the attackers took a pack of cigarettes from him. He told police that three other men who are also members of a gang joined in the beating — meaning the five men were beating him at the same time.

An investigation led to the arrest of the two Haverhill men, whom the victim identified as members of two street gangs, one of which is called “Violent Money,’’ police said.

Police said the beating happened when the victim showed up with one of the gang members’ girlfriends at a Jackson Street home, where one of the suspects lives.

The incident happened about 8 p.m. Saturday at 18 Jackson St., which is off Washington Street and just west of the downtown train station.

Police charged Davian Coote, 20, of 18 Jackson St., Apt. 2, and Jahlil Singleton, 20, of 21 Cedar St. with unarmed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a shod foot.

The two were arraigned on Monday in Haverhill District Court where each was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail. They are scheduled for Sept. 25 pretrial hearings.

According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, about 8:21 p.m. on Saturday, police were dispatched to an apartment at 231 Washington St. on a report from a 23-year-old man who said he was assaulted about 20 minutes earlier on Jackson Street.

When police arrived, the man was limping and had several injuries to his face, including a swollen lip, a bruise above his left eye and a cut on his left cheek. The man complained to police about severe pain in his ribs and mid-section.

The man told police that he recognized one of his attackers as a man who goes by the nicknames “Fifty” and “Goon,” and that his last name is Singleton.

Police wrote in their report that they were familiar with a man named Jahlil Singleton in connection to other similar incidents in that area.

The victim told police he was with a woman he believes is Singelton’s girlfriend.

He said they were in the second-floor common hallway of 18 Jackson St. when they were confronted by five young men, including Singleton and a man he knew as “Davian.”

The victim told police that he didn’t know the other three men, who were all in their 20s, but he believed they are all in the Violent Money gang.

The victim said that to protect his possessions, he placed his necklace in his pocket and his cell phone in his underwear.

The man told police that he was sucker punched and the men began beating and kicking him in the hallway.

The man said his attackers managed to take only his pack of cigarettes before he ran from the scene and headed back to his apartment, where he called the police.

Officers went to 18 Jackson St. and found a group of people on the second-floor landing, including the woman the victim was with earlier, as well as Singleton, Coote and several other men who told police they had just returned from a trip to Lawrence.