CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM revealed ten more people have been hit with charges for rioting, looting and terrorizing downtown.
We also found all of the suspects are from Northeast Ohio, even though Cleveland officials have blamed the trouble on people from out of town.
Among the new cases, felony charges against Teirrah Billups. Investigators say security video shows her swinging a baseball bat against windows at the Justice Center and looting stores.
Police video shows an officer saw Kasin Lane break a window with his bike.
And Andre DeCosta got hit with charges for trying to destroy a police car and more. We reached him by phone and broke the news to him about the charges. His first response, “I been indicted?”
What the I-TEAM also found calls into question what the Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said just after the rioting.
“We know that a lot of things that happened today were people that did not reside in the City of Cleveland or this area,” he said at the time.
But we checked into the ten suspects just hit with felony charges. All list addresses in Cleveland or Northeast Ohio. In fact, even looking back at suspects charged earlier, authorities have only identified two from out of state. They are from western Pennsylvania.
And listen to what Andre DeCosta told us he observed from being in the middle of it all.
“Everybody I seen down there was no out-of-towners. I was, myself, with 20-30 people.”
This wasn’t no outside thing. This was a local thing,” he said.
The I-TEAM requested an interview with the Chief Williams or Mayor Frank Jackson to discuss the claims about outsiders. As of late Wednesday, City Hall had not responded.
Investigators have suggested maybe some outsiders instigated the rioting and then disappeared. But, now charges are piling up against locals.
Although that doesn’t mean getting justice will be easy. We did a spot check and found suspects already gone from addresses and phone numbers on court records that had just been filed.
The group then made its way down the block to the Justice Center. There, some demonstrators got into heated exchanges with police and sheriff’s deputies. Officers started firing pepper spray and bean bags and canisters of smoke to disperse the crowd. And, more and more people in the crowd turned violent. Eventually, rioters took over downtown causing millions of dollars in damage.
Some of those identified earlier from the rampage have already been hit with federal charges.
Investigators say they have many more people still to identify for crimes. You can see security photos from the unsolved cases here.
After the new indictments were filed, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said, “These individuals are just a handful of those who damaged or destroyed public buildings and police vehicles, and looted or destroyed dozens of private businesses.” He added, “We will hold these individuals accountable as well as any others who are later identified. We are thankful for the dedicated work all of our law enforcement partners…”
The county indictments come following the work of a task force was launched in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, and Cleveland Division of Police (CDP).
Here’s a look at the cases just filed:
- Teirrah Billups, 23, was involved in four separate criminal incidents at the Justice Center, Yours Truly Restaurant and Geiger’s Clothing on Euclid Avenue, and Dollar General on East 12th Street. During these incidents she used a baseball bat to damage property and stole numerous items. She is charged with one count of Aggravated Burglary, one count of Vandalism, one count of Theft, two counts of Breaking And Entering, and two counts of Aggravated Riot.
- •Andre Decosta, 18, used a dolly to damage a CDP vehicle on West 3rd Street and destroyed cameras mounted on the Justice Center. He is charged with one count of Vandalism, one count of Disrupting Public Services, and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Brian Copley, 38, broke into Karl’s Inn of the Barristers on West 3rd Street and stole items. He is charged with one count of Breaking And Entering, one count of Theft, and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Kasin Lane, 21, used his bike to break out a window of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse Square Office Building on West 3rd Street and Lakeside Avenue. He is charged with one count of Vandalism, one count of Breaking And Entering, and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Justin Tulloch, 22, damaged a CDP vehicle on Ontario Street in front of the Justice Center. He is charged with two counts of Vandalism and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Chandler Knesebeck, 18, broke into the Boost Mobile store located in Public Square. o He is charged with one count of Breaking And Entering and one count of Possessing Criminal Tools.
- Thomas Dimaria, 27, stole equipment from a CDP vehicle on Lakeside Avenue in front of the Justice Center. He is charged with one count of Theft, one count of Obstructing Official Business, and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Aharon Schur, 33, damaged a CDP vehicle near West 3rd Street and Lakeside Avenue, and used a claw hammer to damage a Justice Center security terminal located at the West 3rd entrance. He is charged with two counts of Vandalism, one count of Criminal Damaging Or Endangering, and two counts of Aggravated Riot.
- Tanis Quach, 31, threw a large piece of concrete through one of the Justice Center windows. He is charged with two counts of Vandalism and one count of Aggravated Riot.
- Jessica Allen, 21, broke into Winking Lizard on Huron Road, damaged computer equipment and registers, and stole multiple items. She is charged with one count of Breaking And Entering, one count of Vandalism, one count of Theft, and one count of Aggravated Riot.
These individuals will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.
Any further information involving unidentified suspects engaging in criminal activity on May 30, 2020, can be sent anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County at (216)-25-CRIME or at their website.
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