Relatives: Rioters were overcharged

There’s not much doubt there was an early morning rumble in Sandusky on Aug. 25, pitting about 20 young men from Sandusky against about a dozen visiting Detroit natives.
Tom Jackson
Oct 3, 2013
But was it a burglary and a “riot” featuring gang-related violence? A group of local parents and grandparents, many related to the people facing charges, beg to differ.

Police described the brawl at an apartment on Fox Run Trail as a gang battle.

Charges have been filed against 19 young men, ages 14 to 19, alleging participating in criminal gang activity, aggravated rioting, burglary and complicity to vandalism. Teens involved also face curfew violation charges.

A mostly African-American crowd of about a dozen people staged a “Save Our Sons” sign waving protest in downtown Sandusky early Saturday afternoon. Three protesters interviewed later said they realize that fighting is wrong and charges such as “disorderly conduct” might be appropriate, but argued that the youths were overcharged.

Sue Jones, 54, Sandusky, one of the organizers, said labeling the boys gang members and hitting them with heavy charges is counterproductive.    “We have concerns about our children being called a gang,” said Jones, who said the kids were merely friends. She said her grandson was among those charged. He wasn’t even there, she said.

“I think they’re going overboard on some of these charges,” said Arthur Simpson, 58, Sandusky, who said one of the people charged is his son.

Black people in Sandusky are being targeted, contends Cathy Dickerson, an NAACP member.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said the charges appear to match the facts given to prosecutors by police. Fighting by four or more people is rioting. Trespassing an occupied structure for the purpose of committing a crime is burglary, Baxter said.

Baxter said it’s early in the process and the cases have not yet gone to a grand jury, where the charges could change.

And he said prosecutors will listen to defense attorneys, who can present evidence and make a case for lesser charges, or none at all.

Det. Sgt. Dana Newell of the Sandusky Police Department said police will present evidence in court that the Sandusky participants in the fight were affiliated with two gangs, the Black Point Mafia and the Gotti Boys.

Simpson said his 16-year-old son was on probation for a previous crime. He said he did not know what the crime was.

Jones was asked if the presence of many minors at a fight at about 1 a.m. suggested a lack of parental supervision.

“I understand your point,” she said. “I’m 54 years old. I’ve never dealt with this,” she said. “My children did what I told them to do. This is a different generation.”



Where did I mention "black" mother? Race baiting again.


Get outta Dodge! Please...leave our community and take your violent ways with you!

BULLISDEEP's picture

I wish they would leave the country . It would be better.


When my daughter was in school (not to long ago) she had to be in my midnight. I waited up to see her get in and see what condition she was in. If she was on probation, I would certainly know why and she wouldn't be going anywhere. These people need to become parents first --and stop blaming everyone else. Why doesn't the SR do an article on gangs in Sandusky - and yes, there are gangs in Sandusky.

Brick Hamland

I bet if you track all of the kids involved in this there will be more criminal charges filed against them then days attending college... Do white people have an equivalent to the NAACP?


No... that'd be racist.

Erie County Resident

To answer your second question Brick,
Whites do have their own group exactly like the NAACP.
It's called the KKK, but they have been labeled racist. How strange they do the same things just different crayons involved.

To all that are going to pile on this. I never said either of them are good or right!!!


There's no comparison between the two groups.


Isn't it interesting how these family members have all the time in the world to make signs, picket the courthouse, and cry "racism," but apparently have NO time to teach their kids any kind of morality, responsibility, or just plain human decency? My heart bleeds. Charge 'em with the maximum, and let's hope the justice system does a better job of punishment and lessons learned than the families have done!

Erie County Resident

I agree Sam,
I don't care if your flaming pink with green stripes and brown polka dots.
Charge them for what they did and what they are acting like to the max.


Personally, I think it's all about perspective.

When gang members are hanging out together, plotting dirty deeds done dirt cheap, or reminiscing whilst watching a replay on Youtube, they consider themselves as a gang, but when busted, they're just best buds breaking a little 'ol curfew law.


OK here goes people Yes Yes Yes we need to save our sons but not just by giving them a slap on the wrist and waiting for the next offense and start marching and protesting. We need to instill in these young men the value and freedom of choice. There are young men/boys in other countries that are force to take on a mans roll and fight for no unjust reason and here in America we have kids with bad attitudes and anger issues. If we are to help our Sons llet's lead by example and marching in front of the court house is not quite it. See the damage is already done let's figure out how to stop a repeat performance or copycat acts from other youth. Let these young men know how wrong it is to carry on like that. We as parents past present and future need to take our sstreets back. Whew I could preach a sermon this.

Sal Dali

Imagine this: What if the parents of the minor "children" that were arrested had adhered to the curfew ordinance? Answer: Their kids wouldn't be in this situation. Instead of protesting they should be grateful they weren't charged for not being in control of their "children." This ordinance has been around for a long time. It is not a secret ordinance exclusively utilized on behalf of the children of Sandusky's black community. Even if it were, the curfew ordinance was created to keep children off the streets, out of harms way and out of trouble. Those are altruistic goals and should be the goals of each and every parent, regardless of color folks. If you are unsure of the ages and hours of the curfew ordinance, I suggest you educate yourselves. 507.04 will inform you of your parental responsibilities and penalties (507.99) a parent may face for the violation of this ordinance. Yes, the law can hold you accountable for your child violating this ordinance.

Stop It

Splibs never fight one on one, unless it's in a boxing ring. The rest of the time, it's tribe mentality. Prove me wrong.

dorothy gale

I agree with many of the comments here and wish the SR comment section had a "like" button. As commenter Sal Dali pointed out, there is a curfew for minors. Instead of waving signs now, how about taking responsibility for your kids being out past curfew, and apologize to the city for letting them run wild! As for bringing up the race issue, the NAACP member quoted in the article made it about race. I don't think security cameras can "target" a specific skin color.


As I pointed out in the blog on here posted by Damon Newell, I would like to bring to light the Detective in this case.


For those of you who do not know, Dana is a BLACK MAN. He must be racist against his own race I suppose?

Quit playing the race card you posters.

And to the register, shame on you for being so indecent that you try to rumble up some race wars on here to get some comments to your pages. You are all idiots and this newspaper is a complete joke.


I mean, AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES THAT DANA NEWELL IS BLACK? I can't be the only one that finds this comical that the race card was played here. HAHAHAHAHA


Furthermore, I applaud Dana Newell for being able to rise above this Race BS and actually punish these thugs for what they are, thugs. Congratulations.


Furthermore, I applaud Dana Newell for being able to rise above this Race BS and actually punish these thugs for what they are, thugs. Congratulations.


I say go Dana Newell and go Baxter! Handle these kids now before one ends up dead. It's all for their own good. If the parents can't give tough love, our community sure can. Set these boys straight Baxter and Newell! Dana, you and the rest of SPD are our first line of defense against these kids--their parents swwm to only make babies and excuses.

Julie R.

Yeah, Mr. Baxter, go for it ....... and while you're at it you might even try setting yourself and a few others at that courthouse straight!

(sorry, but I couldn't resist)


Julie,did you tell everyone on this thread, about your new friend?

Julie has a new friend, he hates Baxter just like Julie does. Julie is defending a convicted brutal rapist, a guy arrested for assault and domestic violence, arson and theft. Look at her comment telling us all, he might not be as bad as his record, and we are jumping to conclusions.

But Julie doesn't care, she finally has someone to listen to and agree with her rants about the local prosecutor and judges.

Julie R.



I read Julie R's comment on the other thread and believe the point she tried to convey was concerning the history of selective prosecution in Baxter's office. She isn't defending a "brutal rapist" but his right to voice his opinion concerning what he perceives as selective prosecution of teenage black males based on race. An allegation of selective prosecution by prosecutors with the cooperation of judges is very serious.

I believe selective prosecution based on race occurs in Erie County, but this matter is not an example of selective prosecution based on race. These black teenagers were investigated by a black detective AND the county prosecutor is willing to allow defense attorneys to argue for reduction or elimination of charges prior to presentment to the grand jury. The latter concession by Baxter is rare and proves to me he is confident in Detective Newell's work and sensitive (in this case only) to the concerns of these teenagers' mothers.

The role of the mothers and the attacks on Julie R raises for me far more serious issues: Selective prosecution based on gender and the pervasive culture of misogyny. Why are women especially black women defending and trying to excuse violence by teenage males? Why is it acceptable to attack and make misleading comments about Julie R to distract from the issues? Why is Baxter prosecuting a woman teacher for possession of Rx pain patches that are not controlled substances but the male wrestling coach who was distributing Vicodin (a controlled substance) to his players was not prosecuted? Distributing Vicodin is a felony and possession of Vicodin is a felony while Ms Hiss is charged with a misdemeanor.

The real issue for me is why are women their own enemies? Why do they raise their sons to be violent and to hate and objectify women? Why is hating women as Centauri points out, socially acceptable?

The New World Czar

"Black people in Sandusky are being targeted, contends Cathy Dickerson, an NAACP member."

By who...those of the same race who happen to be from Detroit?


Can we save these young men?

If you don't take them out of the multi generational lifestyle of living off the government and no male positive influence you are as we say "pi$$ing in the wind". They are the fourth generation of this endless moral drain on society. And guess what ? They are primed to start producing a new generation and multiply the problem.


No kidding! We as a country and society have to halt supporting and enabling this conduct. Instead, our government has added 40 million more to this free loading life style.


Ms. Dickerson may have made the dumbest comment of all time. She was kidding, right?