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Muskegon Heights police have arrested four teens in connection with the robbery and beating of a restaurant delivery driver earlier this week. Full story published December 16th, 2007 by the Muskegon Chronicle. Supplemental report aired by WZZM Channel 13 in Grand Rapids. Original December 12th story from WZZM HERE.
Police believe the suspects ordered food to be delivered, then attacked 18-year-old Matt Gelderloos (pictured above left) when he arrived, in order to steal money and the food. The delivery man's truck also was stolen. The incident occurred in front of 2633 Reynolds around 11:30 p.m. Monday December 10th. It was Gelderloos' last scheduled delivery of the night, and he was already suspicious because the "clients" called repeatedly and the neighborhood had a bad reputation.
Although two of the suspects are 15 year old males, they were charged as adults and arraigned in 60th District Court Friday December 14th along with two 17-year-old females. Apparently the females were behind the scheme to get money for drugs; they were just using the younger males as muscle. Here's the lineup:
Devonte Ta-Shone Smith, 15, male, of 1881 Manz, Muskegon, charged with carjacking and armed robbery.
Jaleel Shannon, 15, male, of 7 Lincoln, Muskegon Heights, charged with carjacking and unarmed robbery.
Ja'Qesha J. Walker, 17, female, of 3036 Seventh, Muskegon Heights, charged with unarmed robbery. Pictured above left.
Shonta Chenee Peoples, 17, female, of 2633 Reynolds, Muskegon Heights, charged with unarmed robbery. Pictured below left.
Special Note: The Muskegon Chronicle, like many media outlets, failed to identify the race of the people involved, although by looking at the names of the perpetrators, one would not need to be a Glayde Whitney to figure out they're black. The race was disclosed by a local resident who posted the information on Stormfront. Afterwards, I discovered the photos on WZZM as additional corroboration
Judge Michael J. Nolan set bail at $250,000 cash or surety each. If bond is posted, the defendants are to have no contact with the victim or the other co-defendants.
The younger suspects were lodged in the Muskegon County Juvenile Detention Center and the older teens in the Muskegon County Jail. Preliminary examination has been set for December 27th.
The delivery driver for Jo-Jo's Pizza in Cloverville, Matt Gelderloos, who had only been working there for two weeks, was sent to Reynolds Street to deliver a $22 order of hot wings. Upon arrival, the four perps attacked him, stole his wallet, $70 cash, credit cards and cell phone, then stole the truck he was using, which actually belonged to his father. The truck was later recovered in an municipal parking lot.
Gelderloos then went to a nearby liquor store, Five Star Mart, at Hoyt Street and Sherman Boulevard, for help but was told to leave. He subsequently flagged down a police officer for help. After being transported to a local hospital, he received stitches to his lips and one of his eyebrows. He also sustained injuries to his ribs and his head.
The manager of Five Star was apologetic afterwards, saying that his employees had a poor command of English and thought Gelderloos was just another ruffian who had gotten into a fight outside their store.
And how did police track the perps down so fast? "We were able to track calls that were placed into the business," said Muskegon Heights Detective Steve White. "That led us to one of the suspects."
Muskegon Heights, a city of 12,049, is located along the shore of Lake Michigan just south of Muskegon. According to City-data.com, it is 78% black and 16% white. Muskegon itself is not much better. Its population of 40,105 is 58% white and 32% black.