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Tashaun Fair Charged In Armed Robbery
by Melissa Bailey | Oct 9, 2013 6:49 am
Posted to: Legal Writes
After a jury acquitted him of murder, Tashaun Fair was said to be getting his life back, working, attending college, and spending time with his daughter—until police arrested him Monday on armed robbery charges. An aunt defended him and dismissed the charges as “insane.”
Fair, who’s 20, was arrested Monday in connection to an armed robbery in the Hill neighborhood. Police said they saw Fair near the scene, chased him into a house, and found a gun he had ditched in a trash can. A 48-year-old victim supported cops’ case by identifying Fair as one of two men who robbed him at gunpoint, according to police.
The incident came just two months after Fair was released from state custody because a jury acquitted him of murder. Fair spent nearly a year behind bars on charges that he killed Mitch Dubey, a popular downtown bike mechanic, in an armed robbery inside Dubey’s Newhallville home. Fair’s family and defense lawyers claimed he was innocent.
Reached Tuesday, Tashaun’s aunt, Barbara Fair, maintained her nephew’s innocence of the latest charges as well.
After his release, Tashaun had gotten his life together, she said: He enrolled at Gateway Community College and started working a job on campus.
“When he’s not there, he’s spending all of his time with his daughter,” 2-year-old daughter, Zamaya, she said.
“To me, it would be insane for him to be involved in a robbery and to be doing so well,” Fair said.
“I will not believe that he did that until he tells me that he did,” she continued. “Just that the police said that he did it? No.”
Police spokesman Officer Dave Hartman gave the following account of Fair’s arrest:
At 7:33 p.m. on Monday, Officer John Schmaltz responded to the report of an armed robbery at the corner of Congress Avenue and Bond Street. He met with the alleged victim, who’s 48.
The man told police that two young men came up to him. One pulled a gun from his pants and “pressed the barrel into his stomach.”
“What you got—look,” the gunman told the victim, according to Hartman.
The victim told police that while the first assailant held the gun, the second assailant robbed him of his cell phones, and stole some cash from his pocket. The victim gave Officer Schmaltz “detailed descriptions” of the assailants, which were broadcast to patrol cops.
“As soon as Officer Chris Alvarado heard the broadcast, he spotted two men who matched the robbers’ descriptions,” Hartman wrote in a press statement. “They were walking at a fast pace on West Street. The two men were so busy looking behind them that they hadn’t yet seen that they were headed toward Officer Alvarado.”
As the suspects approached Alvarado, Officers Joseph Silvestrini and Osvaldo Garcia arrived. “The two suspects saw the officers about 15 feet away and stopped.” The first suspect, whom police later identified as Fair, raised his hands above his head. The second suspect fled. Then the first suspect fled, too.
Police caught up with the second suspect, who’s 19, on Frank Street near West Street.
Meanwhile, Officers Jenna Davis and Ross Van Nostrand also arrived in the area. “Someone from the neighborhood” told them the second suspect involved in the robbery was running up Truman Street. The cops “headed that way and spotted Fair duck into 32 Truman St.” Hartman wrote.
“They went in after him and found Fair on the second floor, on the floor and with his hands on top of his head. [Fair] said he was there visiting a friend,” according to Hartman.
Meanwhile, police looked for the weapon.
A witness told police he’d seen one suspect leave the gun on the ground after the robbery, and the other suspect pick it up. “Based on that information, Officers Robert Mencucci and Garry Monk searched the area around 32 Truman St. They found a black HiPoint 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol in the trash can by the door. A loaded magazine lay next to the cans on the ground,” according to Hartman.
The alleged victim identified Fair as the accomplice to the robbery, and the other suspect whom police had detained as the gunman.
Fair was charged with “robbery in the first degree, larceny in the second degree, criminal possession of a pistol, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the second degree.”
Barbara Fair said she does not know what happened, but “I absolutely cannot believe he was robbing anyone.”
Fair said since her nephew’s release from prison, she has talked to him every week.
“I just told him, watch who he be around; who he befriends,” she said.
“This is just too shocking for me to actually hear.”
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What a damn shame. Here’s a young man who was just acquitted of murder charges and now he’s in trouble for armed robbery. Isn’t that exactly the same crime that was being committed when the last young victim was shot dead? Hmmm, seems a little too coincidental to me. I just hope that justice is served this time and the correct perpetrator pays for his crime.
I believe in innocent until proven guilty. For someone to be doing so well it is simply unbelievable that he would be involved in this or any crime. Time and evidence will certainly tell the story and if he in fact did this he will face the consequences as he should.
Very, very sad.
And a lot more evidence, this time.
posted by: William Kurtz on October 9, 2013 4:49pm
Barbara Fair says, “This is just too shocking for me to actually hear” and yet it hardly seems surprising to others, even those of us who concede that the prosecution failed to prove the murder case against Mr. Fair beyond a reasonable doubt.
I believe in the presumption of innocence, too. I also generally have confidence in the duck test.
I’m curious at the lack of comments. When this guy was acquitted of murder, there were a lot of people praising him and crowing about how innocent he was and how the police were so wrong to charge him, etc. All I hear now is crickets…
VC Man ,
I think most of us are a little shocked and speechless over this. I know I am.
VC man. You don’t really need the rest of us to support your righteous indignation. I think it’s quite normal to be shocked.
From the ct.gov website:
We assume that “armed robbery” refers to robbery in the first degree when armed with a deadly weapon, categorized under CGS § 53a-134(a)(2) and 53a-134(b) as a class B felony with the added provision that an offender must be sentenced to at least five years imprisonment, which may not be suspended or reduced by the court. The weapon need not be a firearm. Conviction for a class B felony generally results in a definite sentence of imprisonment for one to 20 years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
Department of Correction’s research unit reported a mean sentence of slightly more than 10 years for all inmates currently incarcerated for first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon as a primary offense.
Perhaps the answer to your curiosity can be found in your own statement. Your statement “when this guy was acquitted” is key to the fact that people felt free to comment, given that the judicial process had played itself all the way out with the jury, having heard all the presentable facts, making a decision concerning his guilt. Said another way: Comments made then were done so at the END of the process. This new process is just beginning.
Perhaps the NHI commentariat is intelligent enough to know at least two things: 1. It’s best to remain silent until/unless one has all of the facts. 2. An arrest and trial in one case has no impact on the facts of an entirely different one.
Most criminals are young and do not realize how much harm they cause—first, to their immediate victims who lose a sense of personal security sometimes for life; second, to criminals’ own family members—who feel confusion, anger, shame, endless questions of what would have made a difference in their raising the young person.
I am not saying the accuse Fair is guilty; but it does move me to see the happiness and hope on his family’s faces upon his first acquittal. How devastating for them to have to contemplate their beloved young man may have committed this robbery or others.