Bats, knives used in Harford melee involving up to 50 people

Judge denies bond

prosecutor calls girls `danger to community'

November 28, 2007|By Madison Park | Madison Park,Sun reporter

Four female teenagers charged with attempted murder after a fracas in Edgewood on Sunday were denied bond yesterday in Harford County court as new details of the incident emerged.

Baseball bats and knives were used in a skirmish that witnesses said involved up to 50 people and left three people hospitalized with injuries. Prosecutors said one victim was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of injuries suffered in the incident.

District Court Judge Mimi Cooper denied bond for the suspects, who were called "a danger to the community" by Assistant State's Attorney Joel Muneses. Relatives of the teens wept and claimed that sheriff's deputies had arrested the wrong people. The investigation continues, and Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane said that deputies have warrants for five additional suspects.

On Sunday evening, a crowd gathered at a house in the 1900 block of Eloise Lane. A confrontation ensued over a female resident's relationship with a male neighbor, said Sgt. Christina Presberry, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

After telling the group to leave, Gregory Simmons, 44, the owner of the home, was struck on the head and stabbed in the back. Deputies found Simmons lying on the ground bleeding from the head. He was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in fair condition yesterday.

A female teenager was struck in the head with a baseball bat and a woman suffered facial injuries including a broken nose in the attack. The group also damaged three cars, Muneses said during the bond review.

The mob dispersed as deputies arrived and bystanders pointed out cars leaving the scene, witnesses said. Deputies stopped a car occupied by the four teenagers: Shamere Germany, 16, Tommyrre Reid, 15, and Layelle Reid, 15, all of Edgewood, and Toronda Jackson, 17 of Aberdeen. They found baseball bats and knives in the vehicle, Muneses said.

The girls were charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property.

At yesterday's hearing, the teenagers appeared individually via a video feed from the Harford County Detention Center. They wore striped prison jumpsuits and some trembled and wiped away tears.

Germany bit her lip as her attorney, Christopher Luber, described her as a solid student at the Alternative School in Aberdeen who holds down a part-time job at Burger King.

Germany's mother, Natasha Fowlkes, said that her daughter has a broken femur and could not have participated in the melee.

"She's not a bad kid," Fowlkes told the judge. "She doesn't hang in the street or get in trouble."

Jackson, a senior at Aberdeen High School, has a baby and hasn't been in trouble for years, her mother, Tina Harvey, told the judge.

"There were so many people involved, they can't prove it," said Harvey as she wiped her eyes. "These are just little children."

madison.park@baltsun.com

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