The mother of a Stamford robbery suspect helped police arrest her own son by identifying his picture taken by a store surveillance camera just before a homeless man was robbed with a knife and gun in the South End in early April, police said.
Shawn Young, 18, who was already being held at the Bridgeport Correctional Center on a $25,000 court appearance bond after being arrested for some car break-ins later in April, was transported to the Stamford courthouse Thursday where he was charged with the April 9 street robbery.
Young, formerly of Taylor Street, was arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and held in lieu of an additional $50,000 court appearance bond. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police say that a number of people, including Young’s mother, came forward after seeing a video of one of the two robbery suspects that had been taken in a bodega just moments before the robbery. The pictures of the suspect were so good that police put them up on their Facebook page and asked for help in identifying the suspect and police were told by those calling in that the man in the video was Young, his eight-page arrest affidavit said.
On April 9 at 11:18 p.m., police were called to the area of Henry and Pacific streets on the report of a robbery.
A 28-year-old man living at the men’s shelter at 597 Pacific St. said he was at the Tres Hermanos grocery store just before being robbed and a man stopped him at the door and asked, “I got fire, son.” The man took it to mean that the man blocking the door had some crack cocaine he wanted to sell. The robbery victim told the man he didn’t want any, he told police, the affidavit said.
As the homeless man, at the store to buy some ice cream, walked around the man kept coming up to him to ask if he wanted some crack and even opened up his palm to show the man some small white rocks, apparently crack cocaine.
The man walked out of the store and as he got onto Garden Street he realized the man with the crack and another man were following him.
He said one of the suspects, now identified as Young, came up to him and pulled a knife and said, “Give me your money and whatever else you have,” the affidavit said. After being lunged at several times, the 28-year-old man said, “It doesn’t have to be this way,” and the man with the knife replied “I’m gonna stab you in the hand.”
Then, the second man pulled out a black handgun and said, “Do what he said, or I’m gonna shoot you in the head. I’ve done this before.”
The man then handed the man holding the knife an envelope with $70 and two give cards worth another $100, the affidavit said. The man with the knife took off, but the gunman drew his gun again and told the man, “You better get the expletive deleted) out of here before I steal your duffel bag too.”
The robbery victim then ran off, police said.
After obtaining the video of the first suspect in the bodega, and the victim telling police that he was positive that the same man robbed him, police posted it on their Facebook page on April 11 and received calls from two confidential informants telling them the man in the pictures was Young.
When they went to Young’s Taylor Street home to find him, his mother told investigators that she kicked him out of the house because of his criminal activities, which was having a bad effect on his younger brother and sister.
The mother said she saw the video and immediately recognized the suspect was her son and even contemplated going to police headquarters to speak to someone about it, the affidavit said.
When police talked to a known associate of Young’s, who was at first a suspect in the robbery, the man told police that he wasn’t involved. He did say that Young told him several days later that he committed the robbery that night.
The man told police that Young told him he robbed a “fiend,” a white male with glasses and a backpack, an accurate description of the 28-year-old robbery victim.
The man said Young told him he and another friend were trying to sell the man drugs and had made a deal for $45. But when Young handed the man the drugs, the man said he didn’t like what he saw and asked for his money back. The man said Young told him that he and his friend fled the scene without giving the man his money back.