Middletown police chief: Ages of crime suspects ‘a problem’

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw, speaking publicly for the first time since the city’s latest crime spree, said the ages of the five suspects — 13 to 19 years old — is “a problem in itself.”

Police said five Middletown teens were involved in a home invasion Monday night in the 3200 block of Wilbraham Road, where they allegedly stole two weapons and pistol whipped a 14-year-old in the home.

MORE: 5 teens charged in Middletown home burglary

On Tuesday, police found two teens matching the description of the suspects in a vehicle. There was a police pursuit and the suspect’s vehicle crashed in the Wendy’s parking lot on North Verity Parkway, police said.

The alleged driver, Sidique Bailey, 19, was charged with aggravated burglary, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, fleeing and eluding, and reckless operation.

Jakaleb Silas, 18, of Middletown, was charged with aggravated burglary.

Jack Mikesell, 19, of Middletown, was charged with aggravated burglary because he allegedly helped a 13-year-old plan the burglary.

Police said the 13-year-old had repeatedly asked the homeowner to sell him a gun, but the man refused. The teen suspected there were multiple guns in the home and convinced two other subjects to commit the burglary, police said. He was charged with aggravated burglary.

A 17-year-old from Middletown was responsible for striking the 14-year-old with a pistol, police said. When taken into custody, the teen had a stolen hand gun from a prior home invasion in Columbus, police said. He was charged with aggravated burglary, felonious assault, and receiving stolen property.

Bond was set at $50,000 for Bailey, Silas and Mikesell and their preliminary hearings will be next week in Middletown Municipal Court. All three remain in the Middletown City Jail.

The investigation revealed that some of the individuals involved in the aggravated burglary wanted the weapons to rob a drug dealer, police said.

“It’s disturbing considering their ages,” Muterspaw said. “There’s definitely a problem with young people thinking it’s OK to do these things.”

He said the ages of the suspects “makes no sense,” but the police department sometimes looks at ages differently than the public because it realizes teens can commit serious crimes.

“Violent people” is how he described the teens.

City leaders have met several times trying to formulate a plan to reduce juvenile crime by creating positive activities for the youth, said Muterspaw, who has two teenage children.

“This is exactly the target group we are trying to reach,” Muterspaw said.

The past week has been busy for the Middletown police department. Since March 3, police have investigated a home invasion, a police pursuit, a robbery and an attempted robbery all allegedly committed by young people in the city.

On March 3, a person entered the Subway on North Verity Parkway, jumped the counter, showed employees a hand gun and chased them out the back of the restaurant. The employees ran to the parking lot and the suspect ran away, police said. On Thursday, police released photos from the restaurant’s surveillance cameras in hopes someone would recognize the suspect.

Muterspaw said police believe the same person is responsible for robbing a Harrison business the day before. He said Middletown detectives are working with the Harrison Police Department trying to solve both crimes.

Also on Thursday, police issued an arrest warrant for a man suspected of firing shots outside a Middletown bar. Police said Doryn Palmer Truss, 22, of Middletown, fired shots March 5 at Bar Boca on Charles Street. One round entered a SUV and landed in the back seat, police said. No victims were found, police said.

Anyone with information about the Subway attempted robbery or the whereabouts of Truss is asked to call Detective Kristy Hughes at 513-425-7733.

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