A 13-year-old gang member served as a lookout as a group of young men robbed a China Star delivery driver in September, according to testimony Wednesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
The teen, who was charged as an adult, pleaded not guilty to one count of armed robbery related to the Sept. 28 incident that occurred in the 1600 block of 12th Street.
His plea comes months after 19-year-old Michael Bush Jr., 18-year-old Jaie Hawkins and a 16-year-old boy pleaded not guilty in the case. All charges were bound over to Superior Court.
Columbus Police Detective Sgt. Joseph Hart said patrol officers were called to the Wendy’s restaurant on Wynnton Road on Sept. 28 to investigate the armed robbery.
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A China Star restaurant employee said he was instructed to deliver food to a 12th Street apartment. When he arrived, he learned that the apartment unit he was told to deliver to didn’t exist.
He was headed back to his vehicle when about four people wearing dark hoodies approached him. Only one of them was armed at the time, the victim told police.
They took money and food before fleeing. Further investigation indicated that someone lured the victim into the armed robbery.
Officials with the burglary division were investigating an unrelated incident in November when they came in contact with a 13-year-old boy who authorities identified as a member of the Gangster Disciples. He allegedly told authorities that Bush, Hawkins and a 16-year-old boy committed the armed robbery.
Hawkins was being held in the jail when officials charged him in connection with the 12th Street robbery on Nov. 7. He allegedly admitted to his involvement and stated that Bush was the gunman.
Hawkins also named the 13-year-old as one of the suspects, Hart told Judge Julius Hunter.
Bush was in jail facing charges related to a Circle K armed robbery when officials charged him in the Sept. 28 incident.
In March, the juveniles were taken into custody. The youngest suspect was being interviewed about a separate incident when he told authorities was a lookout for the others as they robbed the China Star employee, according to police.
“He denied receiving any proceeds from the robbery,” Hart told the court.
Officials have also linked the 13-year-old to another armed robbery involving members of Gangster Disciples. He allegedly filmed the group beating, stripping and robbing a man who dated one of their ex-girlfriends.