Friday, 29 July 2011

Police investigate possible gang connection after fight

Norristown police responded to a report of several people dragging a man out of the street and toward the entrance to Crawford Park near Main Street Monday, where officers found just two bloodied men who had been fighting.

A 23-year-old Stanbridge Street man, Joel Chatman, was charged with simple assault, public drunkenness, drug charges and disorderly conduct, according to a Norristown police report.

Police are investigating the possibility that the violence was gang related given the suspect’s street address matched that of a residence recently firebombed. It is allegedly local suspects with ties to a “Bloods” gang based in Brooklyn who are responsible. However, no other suspects were found in the vicinity or identified.

When officers arrived at 12:22 a.m. Monday in the vicinity of West Main and Water streets, they saw Chatman exiting a driveway near the park and stopped him to find out what he knew. When an officer asked where the person he had been fighting with had gone, Chatman reportedly said, “I think he went up that way,” gesturing to the back of the 200 block of Pearl Street, according to police.

Chatman had blood on his hands and clothing and was allegedly visibly intoxicated. He was taken into custody. The man claimed he had been “jumped” on Lafayette Street and got into a fight. A shirt police found in the street belonged to the suspect.

Another officer found an injured man there who was treated by medics and flown to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

When searched following his arrest, Chatman was found to be carrying a plastic bag in his pocket labeled, “Cloud 9 Extra Strength,” that officers suspected was either organic or synthetic marijuana.

Medics treated Chatman’s bleeding hand, but he declined further treatment. He also was wanted for several fine and cost warrants.

The defendant, who was violating probation, is currently being held at Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $5,000 bail.



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