Georgia Teen Allegedly Leads Violent Flash Mob But Is Then Arrested After Returning To Trashed Store To Retrieve Cellphone

DJR8X.AuSt.71We have been following the growing menace of flash mob attacks on stores where teenagers descend on a store, trash its interior, and steal merchandise — only to vanish with the arrival of police. However, in the case of a trashed Macon Wal-Mart, police say that they not only have videotapes of the mob but one of its leaders, Kharron Nathan Green, 17, who made the mistake of returning to retrieve his cellphone.

In a flash mob case, the cellphone is critical evidence of course. In this case, the mob hit the Wal-Mart late at night with four dozen people, including people flashing gang signs. Teens attacked a man on a motorized shopping cart and did $2000 damage.

Green is identified in the surveillance video as leading a mob of teens in the planned attack. However, he denied any knowledge at the police station until his parents arrived and were shown the videotape. He then admitted his involvement but refused to name anyone else. However, with the phone and the identification of the leader, police have much more than they usually have in such cases. The question is how hard the Macon police will push to prosecute the other teenagers. This is a crime that is growing due to the lack of deterrence through prosecutions.

As for Green, his lack of cooperation on naming other culprits could seriously undermine an effort to plead guilty for a lower sentence. The phone itself is now likely to be introduced as evidence of a premeditated act of rioting.

The choice of a second degree charge on property damage is interesting. Here is the code provision:

1st Degree Criminal Damage to Property

You could be charged with criminal damage to property in the 1st degree if the prosecution has probable cause to believe you did one of the following:

1. Knowingly and without authority interfered with property in a way to endanger human life, or

2. Knowingly and without authority and by use of force or violence interfered with the operation of any public communication or transportation system, sewer, drainage, water supply, gas, or other public utility.

First degree criminal damage to property is a felony and carries a potential sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison.

Ref: O.C.G.A. §16-7-22

Given the attack on the shopper, it is possible to claim the first criteria, but police may have concluded that Green was not directly involved in that attack and the second criteria does not appear relevant.

Green is now charged with inciting a riot and second-degree damage to property.

49 thoughts on “Georgia Teen Allegedly Leads Violent Flash Mob But Is Then Arrested After Returning To Trashed Store To Retrieve Cellphone”

  1. He broke the law, therefore he must pay a reasonable consequence. The problem with most kids like Kharron is that they don’t attend school regularly and are not trained to do a trade. Parental involvement is usually minimal. Therefore, while serving a reasonable time in jail, he should be trained in a trade that will help him land a job…and one more thing…he needs to work off the dollar amount of what he destroyed in the store.
    P.S. the same goes for the Ferguson and Baltimore kids.

  2. This kid looks like a real charmer…”all antisocial and nowhere to go”…except the state penitentiary…this miscreant has a bright future (dripping with sarcasm)…his parent’s must be sooo proud….

  3. To All; Just exactly would you do if these whomevers came into your house and did these things? Sounds like most of you would just offer them milk and cookies. It’s time to wake up guys!

  4. Sentencing Green is one thing and could be tailored to develop a useful member of society. However, there should be no pussyfooting regarding the crime, no euphemism. He orchestrated a riot. This is important for two reasons. Firstly to make an impact on Green so he doesn’t brush this off and move on to bigger crimes. Secondly and of the moment, the ability to design the actions of others with today’s technology offers benefits as well as draw backs. This illustrates a draw back that could easily morph into something much more serious than trashing a store. The potential of technology demands that limitations be put in place and the punishments be severe. The worst thing that could happen as a result of this is for it to be seen as the antics of juvenile delinquents. The potential is quite clear. Nip this in the bud.

  5. I would sentence him to a young adult prison for three years. No parole. Mandatory job training, every day but Sunday, for 8 hours per day. The job training would consist of a marketable trade: auto mechanic, electrician, plumbing, brick mason, etc. My great uncle was arrested at age 20 for robbing a bank with a toy gun. That was back in the 1950s when prisons weren’t as crowded and violent and actually attempted to rehabilitate the inmates. He was allowed to take correspondence courses in accounting. After 4 years he was released and built a successful career as an accountant. He got married, raised a family and is now retired, having never again been in any kind of trouble. I believe everyone benefits when a prisoner uses his/her time to develop job skills so he won’t return to crime upon release.

  6. 99guspuppet

    Again, if you are asking me what I think should happen with regard to this young man, I could only answer that question if I had access to additional information pertaining to this case. I, for one, would be interested in knowing the extent of the (presumably) disabled man’s injuries. I would like to know whether or not restitution, by this thug, will be made with regard to the trashed interior of Wal-Mart. How much damage was done and what are the costs to restore the property to its prior condition? How much was stolen and, again, will restitution be made to the victim–Wal-Mart–for the loss? Is our young thug cooperating with the police? No? I would take that into account.

    The previous questions have more definite answers, yet how about the hit/loss that this store will, most assuredly, take in the form of future lost business due to this imbecilic behavior? Do you think it’s ok, Wal-Mart can take the hit? Not me. I don’t think like that. Wal-Mart is no less a victim because of its size and power. How do you calculate that loss and how to hold this criminal responsible for customers choosing to avoid a place in which mobs feel free to terrorize?

    The more answers that one has, the easier to decide just what should be this individual’s punishment.

  7. 99guspuppet

    If you are serious with your question, please note that punishment of criminals serves various functions. The removal of the wrongdoer from society, in the form of incarceration, acts to separate the criminal from further harming others in the community, which is a valid and legitimate reason behind inflicting punishment. You asked how we are safer by punishing this young man, and I have provided you with a possible answer. One thing is definite: while he is incarcerated, we do not have to worry about him targeting any more victims in the community. His punishment will also serve as a deterrent to him, with regard to future behavior, and will remind others, as well, that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated and will surely result in serious consequences. Besides keeping society safer, due to his forced absence, punishment will serve to teach him, and others, a lesson to not engage in these intolerable acts.

    Did that answer your question as to how or why punishment will make any of us safer?

  8. Growing up in Canada, Americans often touted the Constitution, and the Bill Rights, etc. Canada has an evolving structure that has been going on for two hundred years. As situations demanded so the leaders acted. There were riots in the 30’s just as there were in the US and the police and army subdued those that rioted. In the 70’s Trudeau enacted the ‘War Measures Act’ when the French Canadian terrorists, the FLQ kidnapped and murdered. The words of sacred documents seem to mean nothing when police can abscond with money and make the owner prove innocence to get it back. However the absence of those words and documents doesn’t make for any less lawful, protected, or free society. The documents are easily put aside by the administration, forgotten by some segments of society, and almost always interpreted to the advantage of who ever has the best legal instruction. In our Western nations the leadership can always step up the reaction to this sort of behavior.

    Here youth are honing their skills at surgical rioting. They can draw upon the public in rapid fashion chaos, mayhem, robbery, and perhaps even murder. They will then be defended by rights and sacred writings that will then be interpreted by the legal profession. Perhaps it is time to offset the sacred rights of these rioters with the maximum response.

    In this case youth is fortified by some obligation to redress ancient crimes and self empowered to burn down the house. However, there is a place called society in general where reasons peculiar to one group or another have no further sway. This group have crossed over the line. They could very easily have used pipe bombs with the same collective mentality. The youth that are apprehended should be charged as rioters and their crimes beginning with rioting. Theft, destruction, assault, and every other perverse activity should be applied to any and all that can be associated with this. This will nip this perverse behavior in the bud.

    If race is brought into this criminal behavior then those who have taken on the responsibility to ‘let freedom ring’ will have done themselves and their struggle a great disservice.

    1. To Issac and bam bam

      I asked the questions in all seriousness.
      What I would actually like to know …….. what would you have society do ? Based on reading what you have written I guess you would like him in prison …… How long do you want him in prison ? You are saying we need not worry while he is in prison. Logically, then , shall we give him life imprisonment ? You state that his incarceration will deter others. Lots of people are in jail and Green was not deterred….. Was it a matter of not having enough people in jail … or that they do not serve long enough sentences ? I am very serious when I say that I do not see incarceration as a process that works. I offer no other suggestion…. I am not sure what to do. It seems clear that the current schemes for dealing with criminals do not work. Why should society continue to pursue those schemes ?

      It bothers me that Green can commit a crime and be brushed with label of rioter and user of pipe bombs. Green did what Green did. Nothing more… nothing less…

      I don’t care what race Green is…. ( because I think race is a bogus labelling fallacy ) I don’t care that he is a teenager. I suggest that if all you have as a plan is to incarcerate Green and paper him with lots of criminal labels …… then you might as well kill him and be done with it.

  9. Prosecution of the actors for the crime of Riot is a good choice for these types of actions. The burden of proof is easier but unfortunately prosecutors and police are not quite in the frames of mind to consider this type of prosecution because they often think of riots as what we traditionally see on TV–a street riot.

    Generally the elements of Riot crimes are

    1) Groups of three or more individuals
    2) Participating in a campaign to cause property damage or inflict injury upon others

    Many states have Felony Riot statutes which makes the possession of a deadly weapon or other crimes contained in their actions a greater punishment.

    It also works for ancillary actors who might not be damaging property per se, but are facilitating the action by promoting the text messages or recruiting others to engage in these crimes.

    If the prosecution subpoenaed the cell phone records it could easily reveal, through message tracing, the identities of the actors with could be confirmed by store video surveillance. The two of these could easily provide the necessary elements, making a strong case.

    Another aspect of the cell phone records is that it could show that the actors decided to engage in the flash mob before entering the Wal-Mart in most states that could show that the building was entered with the intent to commit a crime, which could provide for prosecutions for burglary. The assault of the disabled person would make such a burglary an aggravated burglary. From a strictly statutory perspective had a person died during such an incident, the each of actors could be charged with the Felony Murder of the victim. The legal jeopardy that these participants put themselves into surely could be much greater than they anticipate.

  10. While Walmart has great video surveillance, Target is the gold standard. They have such good video and video enhancement equipment and expertise, law enforcement often have Target assist in video surveillance they have that needs enhancement. Target does it gratis. They are a smart company.

  11. The only positive in this story is that the invaders chose Walmart, which has more security in place than probably any store in the country. Walmart has cameras running 24 hours, on 100% of its properties. Every time you sneeze or scratch your butt in a Walmart, they’ve got it captured in their security system.

  12. Nothin’ but the chickens, coming home to roost.
    Or maybe locusts, biting and stinging insects.

    In more esoteric terminology, karma.

  13. Jim Crow – you cannot trap them anymore. It is against the law in most states. In the olden days this kid would be on a slow boat for China working his way across.
    I wonder what possessed this kid to go back for the phone? Now all they have to do is call everyone on the phone or play phone tree until they have the others. He probably texted everybody.

  14. Karen S

    I live approximately 10 minutes away from the closest Wal-Mart, with another one around twenty minutes away from me. I will spend the extra time and gas, on a regular basis, to avoid the closest Wal-Mart and instead travel to the more distant one. Why? Because of the high rate of crime in and around the closest Wal-Mart. This behavior, mentioned in this article, unstopped, leads to a ripple effect, where customers simply avoid businesses and their surrounding areas. I can’t fathom how people don’t realize the negative impact they foster when calling to coddle this criminal, claiming that he’s just a kid. Give me a break. If they were immersed in this s&#t on a daily basis, where their grandpa on the scooter had been the target of an assault, perhaps they’d be singing a different tune about punishment. I say PERHAPS because I’m not so sure that they even care enough about their own grandpa.

  15. Karen S said above:

    “I am more interested in sociological studies examining what goes wrong in a family to produce kids who engage in self destructive criminal behavior, and apply those lessons learned. . . .”

    Good luck with that! What goes wrong in the ‘family’ is that there is no family. Haven’t you noticed how many of these people seem to be living with their grandmothers?

    Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D) had a good idea of what was causing part of the social breakdown but he was blistered in the now customary scalding by charges of racism. I am not sure that our oh-so-delicate and pc universities would even allow you to conduct a legitimate sociological study into these problems because everyone already has a strong (though unspeakable) idea where that study would lead. I can see the ‘micro-agressions’ flying everywhere soon followed by charges of actual racism led, as likely as not, by the current administration.

    Besides, everything is the fault of the Confederate battle flag, don’t you know?

  16. I remember how Korean store owners handled looting during the Rodney King riots.

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