Cops arrest ‘member of 26 gang’

2012-01-16 00:00

A TEENAGER who claims to be a member of the notorious prison gang known as the 26s has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed and killed a 30-year-old gardener in an alleged robbery spree in Woodlands on Saturday night.

Later, the suspect allegedly went to the local tennis court where he and three of his friends also tried to rob Laurian Leonard (24) of a bicycle.

When Leonard refused to give them the bicycle, they also stabbed him and his friend.

The two were taken to Northdale Hospital. Leonard is still receiving treatment, while his friend was discharged yesterday morning.

Leonard said: “We were chilling with my friend in the tennis court after a wonderful basketball practice when we were approached by four guys.

“One of these guys asked me how much I had bought my bicycle for and if it was an expensive bike.”

Leonard said he realised that the men wanted to rob them because the one was carrying a bottle neck and another had a knife.

“In trying to defend myself I jumped for the one guy who was carrying a bottle neck, forcing it out of his hands, but he managed to cut me below my left eye,” he said.

As he retaliated, his friend shouted at him to watch out, but it was too late and he was stabbed in the chest with a knife.

“I then ran for my life and managed to reach one of my friend’s house where I knocked for help.

“Eventually a friend of mine came out and they called the ambulance as well as the police,” he said.

He said he suspected that their attackers could have been on drugs, and he smelt alcohol on their breath.

At the time, he did not know about the fatal earlier attack.

On the scene at about 12.30 am, Mountain Rise police, led by their station commander Brigadier Francis Bantham, had already caught three of the suspects and were looking for the murder weapon.

Right: A suspect leading police to where the knife was tossed.

“We are not leaving here if the possible murder weapon has not been found,” Bantham told her team.

Not long after that one of the suspects suddenly “remembered” where the knife was and was driven by police to retrieve it.

The shaken suspect also told police that the person he said stabbed the victims described himself as a 26 member and was tattooed like a 26 gang member.

Police phoned for the suspect, who had already been taken to the Mountain Rise police station, to be brought back to the crime scene so he could point out where he dropped the knife when he was fleeing. He pointed to the spot where the knife had been found.

Bantham said: “I will tolerate no lawlessness in the Mountain Rise policing area. And I will ensure that the perpetrators face the full might of the law.”

She sent her condolences to the family of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery to the other victims.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said four people were taken in for questioning in the early hours of yesterday morning.

“Two people have been placed under arrest for murder and police are in the process of opening a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm,” Jeevan said.

Jeevan said the alleged murderer is an 18-year-old and his co-accused is 17 years old.

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