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Street Brawl Leads To Year’s 21st Homicide

by Paul Bass | Aug 11, 2011 2:30 pm

(21) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Legal Writes, Dwight

A 16-year-old boy died Thursday from wounds suffered in a shooting after a fight about a girl. Then his family clashed with Yale cops at the hospital.

The shooting occurred Wednesday around 9:20 p.m. at George and Day streets.

A fight broke out in the street, involving around 15 people, according to Assistant Police Chief John Velleca. He said the fight started “over a girl.”

Two people involved in the fight pulled out guns and started shooting. The victim was hit. He was not one of the people shooting, Velleca said.

One person present described a scene of “chaos.” A cop had been around the corner when the shooting started; after he and others arrived, a few brawl participants fled. But others remained on the street, some calling to the dead body lying face down in the middle of Day Street: “Sean, wake up! Sean get up!”

“It was like a protective force field of people not wanting to go near [the body]. Some girls were sitting on the curb directly across from the body. It shocked the consciousness of people.”

The victim was pronounced dead Thursday morning at the Hospital of St. Raphael. He is the city’s 21st homicide victim of the year. He was black, like all but two others on the list.

Thursday afternoon the hospital was still “running blood through [his] organs” in preparation for an organ donation, Velleca said. (That was the reason that earlier reports incorrectly had the victim remaining on “life support.”)

Police have already interviewed participants in the fight and have identified suspects, Velleca said. “We’re well on the way to identifying most of the people involved in the fight.” 

Police are not yet releasing the victim’s name.

Brawl #2

Meanwhile, a city street outreach worker, Doug Bethea, raised questions about how Yale police handled what turned into a melee at the hospital Wednesday night.

The victim’s family was there trying to see him. A big crowd gathered.

City police called for back-up. Among those responding were at least two Yale cops.

City police officers handled the tense exchange well but Yale police escalated the situation, Bethea claimed.

“They were insensitive to what was going on. They were insensitive to people mourning,” Bethea said. “They wanted to check in on his brother. They would not let [people] in. They grabbed [a relative], and people just started coming around. They called for more cops.”

According to another account, a Yale cop clashed with the victim’s aunt when a large crowd called for allowing her and the victim’s mother through. The aunt and a Yale cop fought.

Pushing and grabbing ensued. Bethea said he and others managed to calm people down and defuse the situation; but Yale police did arrest a female relative of the victim for interfering, Bethea said.

Dwight Alderman Greg Smith rushed to the scene when “I saw the commotion.”

He said he saw “an altercation” between a female Yale cop and female relative. “I don’t know how it initially started.”

Yale spokesman Robin Hogen said Yale cops responded to city cops’ call for back-up at the hospital. He said a Yale officer ” was injured as she attempted to keep the crowd from entering the ER, which led to a civilian arrest.”

Here’s how St. Raphael’s security operations manager, Tony Correia, described what happened: “Saint Raphael’s could only let members of the immediate family into the hospital due to the late hour. It was an emotional situation and people were upset but our security staff and law enforcement officers were able to ensure safety and access to the hospital for immediate family members.”

Bethea described the victim, whom he knew, as a “good kid” who played on a traveling basketball team associated with the Amateur Athletic Union.

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posted by: Jon Doe on August 11, 2011  12:28pm

To NHI editor I have read in other news outlet that this young man has passed away since NHI posted this story.

posted by: LOL on August 11, 2011  2:50pm

It’s truly sad whenever somebody loses their life, especially when some cowards apparently cannot fight with their hands and resort to guns.

That said, hospitals maintain protocols regarding patient visits; just because somebody or a group of people doesn’t like those protocols does NOT give them the right to cause a scene like this family apparently did.

(You don’t see Dr. Petit “going off” in court or in public on the lowlifes who killed his family.)

Unfortunately, it appears some people believe that being loud and causing a scene will yield them their way. Unfortunately, this has become all too prevelant in our society—yell and cause a scene when you don’t get your way and to heck with consideration for other people.

Further, this CITY OUTREACH WORKER ought to consider that others in the hospital might have been grieving and/or hurting under their own circumstances—yet were behaving by following protocol.  If everybody ranted and raved like this family apparently did, hospitals would become extremely unsafe and police resources would be exhausted.

posted by: anon on August 11, 2011  3:09pm

U.S. Nationwide Homicide Death Rates for Young Persons Aged 15-24 (CDC):

Black Males 88.2
Hispanic Males 31.0
White Males 4.7

Black Females 9.5
Hispanic Females 3.8
White Females 2.0

A growing number of murders should come as no surprise when teen unemployment rates are between 50% and 100% in our country’s low-income minority neighborhoods.  These areas have been destroyed by predatory mortgage companies, our nation’s extraordinarily regressive tax policy, and subsidies for suburban sprawl (which the city and its unions support by exporting most of their workforce to the suburbs, and endlessly widening roads).

posted by: DKR on August 11, 2011  3:38pm

when is the next rally/march against violence so we can all march ,................yet again,....only to see the same results…........more/escalated violence,..and a bunch of hot air

posted by: ray vera on August 11, 2011  3:50pm

another case of a local PD “screwing up” by doing their job, i guess. (note sarcasm.)

@anon. nice specious correlation between unemployment and murders. however, correlations don’t kill people, animals do.

posted by: anon on August 11, 2011  3:59pm

Yale police have no right to keep family from a dying 16-year-old boy just because his injuries were caused by a bullet. what an arrogant cop to arrest that family member—even in life’s most painful moments these cops make sure their narcissistic egos come first.

posted by: christopher schaefer on August 11, 2011  4:00pm

Re. Homicide Death Rates: To the list of causes one should add the War On Drugs. The fact that tens of thousands of deaths worldwide are directly attributed to America’s “war on drugs” is shocking. The waste of life that results when low-income, mostly urban minority kids get sucked into the drug trade is something every American should be ashamed of. Unfortunately, based on my correspondence with Rep. DeLauro and Sens. Blumentthal & Lieberman, the general opinion in Washington is to maintain the status quo.

posted by: anon on August 11, 2011  4:19pm

Ray, smoking and second hand smoke don’t kill people either, even though they are correlated with numerous types of cancer and other deadly diseases.

posted by: NH Resident on August 11, 2011  4:19pm

To Anon I realize jobs for teens are tough to come by.  The truth for all this violence is not mortgage companies,taxes and the burbs.  Its the families of these savages killing each other.  Remember why people move out of cities.  They are forced out by a group of people who are unwilling to act like civil individuals refusing to follow law and live without moral character.  If you really want to stop black on black crime, start with these dirt-bags families.  I can bet a true male role model is bsent.

posted by: che on August 11, 2011  4:55pm

@anon,
“A growing number of murders should come as no surprise when teen unemployment rates are between 50% and 100% in our country’s low-income minority neighborhoods.”

Really, you are going to blame no jobs to kids killing each other? 1st we need to make sure these kids are getting an education. An education will allow you the opportunities to live a better life. Don’t begin to blame the system for not providing programs, jobs for kids so they wont be out there committing crimes. I know plenty of kids who come from low income families and somehow are not out there shooting each other. They are either volunteering or making sure they are well read and ready to begin school and take care of their priorities. Stop blaming everything and everyone else for things you need to be taking care of for yourself. Take some responsibility. People have been entitled too long. God helps those who help themselves, not those whom the government, local or state, help.

posted by: Our Town on August 11, 2011  5:02pm

Anon ...What exactly is the point? 88.2% + 31% + 5.7% = 124.9%.

Where do you get this stuff.

Almost as good as your last one, , people not circling the block looking for parking will reduce traffic 60%!

posted by: Prayers on August 11, 2011  5:08pm

When will I learn to stop reading these comments. A sixteen year old boy is dead and his family is in mourning.  Spewing hate online does nothing to help anyone. My condolences to the family.

posted by: Roxanne on August 11, 2011  6:16pm

It might not be such a bad idea for police to receive training in nonviolent communication?

posted by: Gangster bmor on August 11, 2011  9:23pm

Nh resident I love your your comment. I have done lots of construction work in low income housing communities especially in Bridgeport. I never seen a father figure in any of these house holds. What I seen was women that didn’t have respect for there homes. Different men would walk in and out of these houses. No one had a job. When people would ask me to describe the scene in these communities I would respond with ” it looks like a Friday night everyone ready for a party and looking for the next porch to hangout on. It’s sad because father figures just aren’t out there anymore. It’s sad to say but the majority of these people are all black. They need to really consider on who there choosing for role models. But then again everyone wants to be a rapper and a gangster. Right !

posted by: Edward_H on August 11, 2011  11:10pm

Don’t forget to add Global Warming to the list. Hot weather and crime are clearly connected.

posted by: Tracey Suggs on August 11, 2011  11:38pm

All I am going to say is this. Some people will NEVER understand what that family was feeling or going through. until you are in thier situation. True other’s at the hospital may have been dealing with their own tragedies and its sad. But none of them ppl where thier because of just having their 16yr old gunned down.In a case like this your mind set is far from rational it like the world has stopped moving around you. and you cant breath nevermind Think straight no matter how much you try or want to. The ONLY thing on your mind is getting to your Loved one. I know I been there and through the same thing. Only difference is the choas took place on the scene where my 13 yr old son was gunned down. It was brought to order before there could be any clash with citizens & police because of the way I was treated. and all I was trying to do was get to my child as he laid in the street.So I am going to end this by saying. Unless YOU been through it and I Pray you dont go throught it. Leave the JUDGING to GOD. Only he has that RIGHT. God Bless

posted by: Noteworthy on August 12, 2011  7:08am

When you have drop out rates at Wilbur Cross and other NHPS in excess of 60% (class of 2012), this is what happens. Parents are letting kids roam wild and they aren’t working. Small disses turn into big fights. Kids die.

Only one of this year’s homicides have been solved. One. We are the trend to have the most deadly year in our history. The mayor says all is fine in New Haven.

posted by: To anon on August 12, 2011  8:41am

To Anon,
The reason the family wasn’t let back was probably for several reasons.

1. Everyone who comes to visit is a “cousin”. The staff has no way to see who is related or not. God forbid the staff is allowed to check ID. For all the staff knows it could be someone coming to finish the kid off.

2. It becomes extremely hard for the nurses and doctors to do their job if the family is hysterical.  There is a time and place to have the family come in. But not when the kid is being worked on.  The last thing you want is a hysterical family coming in while they are doing and important sterile procedure.

posted by: christopher schaefer on August 12, 2011  9:38am

In response to Gangster bmor: ultraconservative, black politician Star Parker blames much of the suffering in today’s black community to the current welfare system, which she feels promotes a culture of government dependency and keeps blacks “down on the plantation”
http://www.amazon.com/Uncle-Sams-Plantation-Government-Enslaves/dp/0785262199
An extreme view, perhaps. But extremism pretty much sums up today’s politics.

posted by: SHOCKED AND APPALLED on August 13, 2011  4:33pm

ANOTHER YOUTH HAS BEEN GUNNED DOWNED ON THE STREET. REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER HAPPENED, THE FACT IS SOMEONE’S CHILD HAS DIED ANOTHER SENSELESS DEATH. I COULD ONLY IMAGINE THE SUFFERING AND THE PAIN THE PARENTS MAY BE GOING THRU. SO I’M SENDING MY PRAYERS OUT TO THEM. AND MAYBE HAD YALE POLICE BEEN MORE UNDERSTANDING AND SHOWED MORE COMPASSION AS OPPOSE TO FEARING THE WORST BECAUSE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCE, THINGS WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL. IMAGINE BEING TOLD YOU CAN’T SEE YOUR DYING LOVED ONE. THEIR REACTION DIDN’T MAKE THEM ANIMALS IT MADE THEM HUMAN BEINGS WHO WERE JUST TOLD THEY COULD NOT BE BY THE SIDE OF A LOVED ONE, A CHILD NO LESS, WHILE HE LAY THERE DYING. SO @ TRACY SUGGS, MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND YES, I AGREE WITH YOU, UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN THERE, UNTIL THE DAY YOU EVER HAVE TO LIVE THRU THAT, AND I TOO PRAY THAT YOU DON’T, PLEASE DON’T JUDGE. ALLOW THIS FAMILY TO GRIEVE AND MOURN. ALLOW THEM THE PRIVACY THEY SO DESERVE. AND REMEMBER HE WAS NO STATISTIC, HIS NAME WAS SEAN REEVES AND HE WAS SOMEONE’S SON. PEACE AND BLESSING

posted by: Edward_H on August 31, 2011  3:57am

How long before we can blame crime on Global warming? :
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v476/n7361/full/nature10311.html

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