The players are all freshmen. Defensive back Janzen Jackson, 19, and wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, 19, and defensive back Michael Edwards, 18, are charged with three counts each of attempted armed robbery.
A fourth suspect, Marie Montmarquet, 21, faces similar charges and is also being held on drug charges.
Richardson and Edwards were held on bonds of $19,500 each. Jackson’s bond was set at $15,000.
Police say three men, Corey B. Zickefoose, 20, Benjamin J. Everett, 20, and Corey M. Smith, 18, were sitting in a 1998 Hyundai Elantra at Pilot on Cumberland Ave.
The men said they were parked next to a light blue Toyota Prius when one of the four suspects approached their car holding a semi-auto handgun.
The victims told police the man opened the driver’s door and ordered the three to “Give me everything you have.” A second suspect then went to another door of the car and said, “Give us everything you’ve got.”
When the victims showed their wallets to the suspects to prove they didn’t have any money, a third suspect arrived, saying, “We’ve got to go.”
The victims said the suspects got in the Prius, which went southbound on Volunteer Blvd West. They said a woman was driving and three men were in the car.
Using descriptions from the victims of the suspects and their vehicle, police later spotted the suspects near Gibbs Hall on the UT campus, still in the Prius, and stopped it.
Officers saw two black hoodies on the back seat. Under the back seat, they found a black, CO2 powered pellet gun. In the glove box, officers found a marijuana grinder.
A search of the suspects revealed a plastic baggie with what was believed to be marijuana in Montmarquet’s jacket pocket.
Montmarquet later said the marijuana grinder belonged to her.
Police confiscated the hoodies, the pellet gun, the marijuana and the marijuana grinder. The Prius was towed to the city impound lot.
The four were taken back to Pilot where the victims identified Edwards and Richardson as the two who demanded money. Jackson was identified as the suspect who said they had to go.
The police report said two other people, Charles Miller and Carly Hair, witnessed the incident and gave police the same description of the event as the victims.
“At this time, we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu’Keese Richardson,” UT Men’s Athletics Director Mike Hamilton said in a statement released Thursday. “Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete.”
Late Thursday head coach Lane Kiffin said he was not sure of the playing status of the players and was still looking into the incident.
Former head coach Phillip Fulmer “will have no comment,” according to his attorney, Jeff Hagood.
Jackson is a 6′, 180 pound defensive back from Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was rated as the no. 2 cornerback in the 2009 class by Rivals.com.
Richardson is a 5’10″, 165 pound wide receiver from Pahokee, Fla. He was rated as the no. 9 wide receiver in the 2009 class by Rivals.com.
Edwards is a 5’10″, 170 pound defensive back from Cleveland, Ohio. He was rated as the no. 48 cornerback nationally by Rivals.com.
“When I drop them off at school I expect them coming into a safe environment and have teachers in their right mind,” said Jessica Smith, a concerned parent.
Police say 42 year-old Marietta Abner was not in the right state of mind for teaching her special education class Monday.
School officials contacted the school resource officer after they suspected Abner had come to work under the influence.
“She was suffering from slurred speech, poor balance, several other indicators that led him to arrest her for public intoxication,” said Manchester Police Chief Jeff Culver.
Manchester police say Abner was also in possession of prescription pills in an improper container. Some of the pills are believed to be Suboxone – which is used to treat opiate addiction, and Klonopins – an anti-anxiety drug.
Abner was arrested and charged with public intoxication and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
“I love the school,” said Smith, “I wouldn’t want my kids going anywhere else, but it shocks me about what happened.”
Abner is out on bond and is scheduled for an arraignment Thursday.
School officials say they are still deciding what action to take in regards to Abner’s employment
Police say the suspect is in custody and charged with murder in the death of 17-year-old Marcus Alloway. Police are not releasing the name of the suspect.
Authorities say five others were wounded during the shooting at the party early Tuesday morning, including a 46-year-old security guard and four teenagers.
Police say two people tried to enter the party but were told they could not because they didn’t have an invitation. Police say one of them shot the security guard and then began firing into the party.
The group is also accused of identity theft, and police in both cities are trying to find the victims.
A Chicago mother, along with her boyfriend and his mother, were all in jail in Ohio Thursday. Police arrested them this week in Parma, which is about nine miles south of Cleveland.
Police say the shoplifting ring involved the mother’s two children, and one detective called the scheme pathetic.
Parma police say Amina Frye’s 10-year-old daughter helped her 8-year-old brother steal a handful of expensive, designer hats with their mother’s approval. At least one alleged theft was caught on surveillance tape.
“It’s obvious from the video that mom knew what the kids were doing,” said Detective Marty Compton, Parma police. “I mean, the kid walks up within four feet of mom, the sister, in plain view of mom, hands him a shopping bag, and he stuffs $225 worth of hats into it.”
It took place at a Macy’s store in Parma, Ohio. Police say the 34-year-old mother is just one link in a shoplifting ring.
When the store’s security guards confronted Frye, police say she got into a fight with them, and another suspect – 64-year-old Diana Burton – jumped in as well. Authorities say Burton’s son, Donald Burton, who is Frye’s boyfriend, punched one security guard in the face.
“These three all have identification that hands them back to Chicago, and Diana Burton has a history that gives us 32 aliases,” Compton said. “So they’ve been around the block before.”
Following the fight, the three adults and two children left the store and were about to take off in a 2009 Chevy Suburban. Police say they arrested everyone on the spot. Inside the vehicle, Parma detectives say they found credit cards, gift cards and what’s believed to be stolen property.
“As the result of the arrest, we’ve determined that we can probably ties these people to crimes in Chicago and Cleveland and God only knows what points between,” Compton said.
Parma police say there could be dozens of victims. They’ve already identified four alleged victims in Chicago. The three adults will be in court Friday in Ohio.
In the meantime, police say the boy and girl were taken into protective custody and have been released to a relative who lives in the Cleveland area.
So he called the only number that worked: 911.
“Basso states that he was going to do his laundry today but was informed that the washer was inoperable,” Tampa police Officer Vivian Frauenfeld wrote in an incident report. “Basso decided to make some breakfast, then went into the shower to have some fun.”
That fun, Frauenfeld wrote, included calling a 911 operator, making several sexual comments about her body before asking whether he could come over to her house and have sex with her.
After being arrested, Basso said he “did not think he would get into trouble for calling 911,” Frauenfeld wrote. Basso admitted he has made obscene calls to 911 in the past, but he has never been caught because he uses a false name and address when calling.
Police responded to Basso’s residence, at 4204 N. Nebraska Ave., shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday after complaints by the 911 operator, according to the report. When they arrived at the rooming house, police found two men who led them to a bathroom where Basso was. The door was locked, police said.
Basso was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of making a false 911 call, according to Hillsborough County jail records. He remains in jail with bail set at $500
Only one robbery occurred in the same area in the previous three weeks, the statistics show.
While police and university officials expressed concern Thursday about the spike, the statistics also show that crime in the area near campus is down about 7.3% since the school year began when compared with the same period last year.
The statistics track an area bordered by E. Edgewood Ave. to the north, E. North Ave. to the south, the Milwaukee River to the west and N. Lake Drive to the east.
Two armed robberies and an attempted armed robbery occurred within about 40 minutes early Tuesday south of campus, prompting UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago to send an e-mail about the spike to the university’s students.
Last week, Santiago requested a meeting with Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn to discuss safety and crime-fighting efforts in the area near campus. The two have agreed to meet but have not yet set a date, police and university officials said.
UWM police began expanded patrols of neighborhoods near campus Tuesday, university spokesman Tom Luljak said.
Milwaukee police also have expanded their patrols in the area, Capt. Patrick S. Mitchell said. Mitchell commands the department’s 1st District, which consists primarily of Milwaukee’s downtown and east side.
No arrests have been made in connection with Tuesday’s robberies and attempted robbery, in which a group of four males targeted pedestrians, Mitchell said.
The same group is believed to have committed a robbery near S. 13th St. and W. Cleveland Ave. just before the robberies near UWM, Mitchell said.
Six people have been arrested since Oct. 22 in connection with crimes committed near the university, said Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz. Three people were arrested on suspicion of robbery, and three were arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards, she said.
University and police officials stressed Thursday that people who live near UWM should be aware of the crimes but not overly concerned for their safety.
“The reason we became alarmed is because of the rapid succession of robberies in such a short period of time, and the fact that many of them unfortunately had UWM students as victims,” Luljak said. “We do not want to panic or alarm people. We don’t think that we’re in a crisis situation, but it is troubling to see this sudden spike in that one crime category.”
Increased patrols in the neighborhoods near campus should reassure residents, Mitchell said.
“This area right now is experiencing a heightened level of fear,” he said. “That’s why we want to get into the neighborhoods and show that the police are here in force, both between the university police and the Milwaukee police. We want to do everything we can to reduce that level of fear.”
UWM sophomores Brad Wessling and Rob Van Dyke said they have noticed more police patrolling their neighborhood south of campus this year.
But Leon Lynn, who lives west of campus, said he has seen fewer squad cars patrolling his neighborhood since the city’s Police Department reconfigured its district boundaries in July
Battiste said he was leaving to become the chief probation officer at the Strickland Youth Center in Mobile.
Battiste, who came to Prichard after working 17 years at the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, said he was not asked to leave the department.
He also said the fact that the city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection about two weeks ago did not impact his decision.
“The city bankruptcy is not something that prompted me to make this move,” Battiste said. “It’s just a tremendous opportunity to go and be a part of the program.”
In a letter dated today but delivered to Mayor Ron Davis and City Council members Thursday, the chief said that his resignation would take effect Dec. 13.
“I have spent much time praying for guidance in this decision,” Battiste wrote in the letter.
After former Chief Sammie Brown left in early 2005, Davis, a former Mobile County sheriff’s deputy who knew Battiste through the Sheriff’s Office, asked the City Council to select Battiste as the city’s chief.
At the Sheriff’s Office, Battiste became the first black officer to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and he was named Deputy of the Year in 2003.
Former Assistant Chief Yvonne Baldwin served as acting chief for about five months before Battiste was hired.
Last year, Baldwin won a gender discrimination lawsuit in which she claimed the city offered her the chief’s job under less-favorable terms than her predecessor.
The city has yet to pay the judgment, and included the more than $300,000 owed to her on a list of creditors in a recent motion in the bankruptcy petition.
Battiste signed a $66,000-a-year contract with the city in Oct. 2005.
Davis could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Marvin Whitfield, who ran much of the department’s day-to-day operations until he left earlier this year, said that the city will be hard-pressed to find someone who can fully replace what Battiste brought to the table.
“The city is losing a great steward in law enforcement and relating to the community,” he said. “I’m hoping and praying that they will be able to find someone who can step in, but it’s going to be hard.”
Jimmie Gardner currently serves as assistant chief.
Pat Mitchell, the mayor’s chief of staff, who formerly served as a police administrator, said Battiste’s replacement had not been selected.
When asked whether he would take over, Mitchell replied, “Perhaps. But I will tell you this, everything will be flowing smoothly.”