LaGRANGE — Two of the four suspects in the alleged savage gang beating and robbery of a 16-year-old boy on his way to play basketball made their first appearance in court Thursday.
Michael Frocorta Ford and Davon Osborn, 19, are both charged with aggravated assault, robbery by force and three counts of participation in criminal street gang activity.
LaGrange Police Investigator Charles Brown testified the victim told police on Aug. 24 he was walking down Thomas Street about 5 p.m. heading to the park when four individuals — allegedly Ford, Osborn and two juveniles — came up behind him and started beating him.
According to Brown, Osborn tried to flee, but officers quickly caught him and took him to LaGrange Police Department for an interview. The investigator testified the 19 year old allegedly incriminated himself during the interrogation.
“Osborn said he ran from police because he thought he had a warrant and he was urinating in public,” Brown told the court. “He said, ‘I didn’t have anything to do with them taking his phone.’ Problem is, I hadn’t brought that up yet. He was the one to bring it up. When I mentioned that to him, he didn’t have much to say after that.”
Ray Ham, LaGrange Police Department investigator and gang expert, also took the stand and testified Ford, Osborn and the two juveniles were known members or associates of the Bloods gang.
Ham said one of the juveniles confessed to the crime and explained in detail everyone’s involvement in the beating and robbery.
According to the juvenile, Ford allegedly punched the 16-year-old repeatedly in the chest, while Osborn allegedly stole the teen’s iPhone from his pocket with enough force to tear the fabric from his body. The juveniles punched the teen in the head and kicked him several times, Ham stated.
The investigator said the 16 year old’s right eye and lip were swollen, and he had lacerations and bruises starting on his forehead all the way down his body.
“This is the epitome of a street gang crime,” Ham told the court. “One kid is walking down the street, going to play basketball, and four gang members decide they’re going to jump him and take his (stuff).”
The investigator also revealed that Ford and one of the juveniles also charged in the case are related. Ham said that same juvenile was also on probation for a weapons charge at the time of the beating. A relative of Ford’s was also in the courtroom and became upset. She stormed out of the room during Ham’s testimony, but returned a few minutes later.
Presiding Judge Vicki Sue McWaters ordered both Ford and Osborn held without bond. Their case was bound over to Superior Court.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.