New Haven sees 24th murder

In the past three weeks, New Haven saw 14 shootings, 27 robberies and one murder.

That homicide lifted the Elm City’s year-end murder tally to 24, double last year’s total. As the 150th year of the New Haven Police Department was officially commemorated by Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and Chief Frank Limon last week with the unveiling of a commemorative badge, the NHPD was faced with a 100 percent murder increase.

In response to the final murder of the year, Limon made a plea in an official release to the city residents for cooperation in combating the increasing levels of violence.

“The community should be outraged as this violence is cyclical and continues to happen to and by the same group of people,” he said. “This weekend’s violence is inexcusable but only by working together can put an end to the nonsense.”

Eighty percent of New Haven crimes take place in less than 20 percent of the city, Limon said. He added that most crimes are perpetrated by offenders and ex-offenders who go after one another and refuse to cooperate with police.

Indeed, NHPD press releases from the 14 shootings over winter break reported that at least four victims were uncooperative with the police after receiving assistance.

Limon said the commonplace refusal to cooperative with the authorities is detrimental to the department’s efficacy, and he asked New Haven residents to help.

“As a police department we’re going to go after gun offenders who perpetuate this violence but the solution doesn’t end with us and our hard work,” he said. “Community cooperation is an essential missing link here.”

Of the 27 robberies, which included two home invasions and a car jacking, only one suspect was reported arrested by NHPD Spokesman Joseph Avery. Four of the robberies took place over Christmas weekend, amounting to approximately $7,620 and two cell phones, according to Avery’s press releases.

The NHPD was able to announce some success over the past three weeks. Police issued three arrest warrants on Dec. 30 for the Apr. 3, 2010 homicide of Kenneth Bagley.

Officers took Mary Pearson, 20, into custody and charged her with felony murder, murder, robbery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit the aforementioned charges. Police also charged Maurice “Moe-Dizz” Beverly with counts related to the homicide. The whereabouts of a third suspect, Eric “E” Brooks, were unknown as of Jan. 3.

The Bagley murder was the final homicide in a spate of murders that immediately preceded Limon’s swearing-in ceremony on Apr. 5. In September, Limon told the News that his goal “is a 110 percent arrest rate for murders — arresting not only those responsible, but those conspiring to commit murder before they do it.”

Another major arrest was made Jan. 23 when Assistant Principal at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven Kevin Muhammad, was taken into police custody for making over 1,000 harassing phone calls to at least six victims. Avery said he was charged with Harassment in the 2nd Degree with a $1,500.00 court set bond for all six cases.

Official police statistics for 2010 crime will be released on Wednesday, Avery said.

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