URBANA — A third Champaign teen has been criminally charged for his alleged role in a gang-related attack on a Savoy teen earlier this month in Champaign.
Champaign County Judge Harry Clem said it was a matter of "immediate and urgent necessity" that the 15-year-old Centennial High School student be held in the Juvenile Detention Center until a Sept. 17 hearing on the charges.
The boy was charged in a juvenile petition with armed robbery, aggravated battery and mob action in connection with the Aug. 17 attack on a 19-year-old man outside a home in the Garden Hills subdivision.
Two others — another 15-year-old boy and Haneef Sayles-Jones, 17, of the 1400 block of Commanche Drive, Champaign — were charged with the same crimes Thursday. Police are looking for others who were involved in the attack that happened in the Garden Hills subdivision.
According to the facts recited in court for judges on Thursday and Friday, the Savoy teen had gone to a party where several members of the "Norff Bang" youth crime club targeted him because he had an iPhone that they wanted. As he was leaving, his friends surrounded him to try to protect him from the gang members. About 20 young men then responded by hitting the Savoy man and his friends with bottles and sticks.
The Savoy man was hit over the head with a vodka bottle, knocking him unconscious. He was hospitalized for several days with swelling of the brain and for a gash to the head that required multiple staples. Another gang member stole his cellphone and later sold it through a post on Facebook.
Assistant State's Attorney Claire Sharples-Brooks said the boy charged Friday allegedly handed the bottle to the other 15-year-old who hit the victim.
She also said several of the gang members talked about what they had done to the teen in Facebook and Twitter posts.
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson, who is working with Champaign police investigators on this case, said most of the offenders involved are believed to be 15 and 16 and that as many as six more arrests are possible.
The youth charged Friday in juvenile court was also charged with burglary for allegedly entering Kohl's at 109 Convenience Center Road, C, on Tuesday with the intent to steal clothing.
Clem explained to the youth that if he's convicted of the most serious charge — armed robbery — he could be held in juvenile prison until his 21st birthday.