Five Gangster Disciples gang members stripped, beat and robbed a young man at gunpoint after he dated one of their ex-girlfriends, according to testimony Monday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
The individuals arrested in connection with the incident were 28-year-old Anthony Thrower, 18-year-old Jadarius Martez Scott, 17-year-old Demarco Pierce, a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old.
Columbus police were called to a young man’s home in the 1500 block of 27th Street on March 4 to investigate an assault. He told officers five members of the Gangster Disciples stripped him naked, beat him and stole his cellphone in an abandoned house on 17th Avenue.
The victim said he joined the gang two months prior to the incident. He started dating Pierce’s ex-girlfriend, and Pierce sent him “disrespectful” text messages about it, according to police.
“(The victim) stated that he knows it is against the rules to date another gang member’s ex-girlfriend without his approval,” Cpl. Joseph Jackson said. “(The victim) stated that Mr. Demarco Pierce felt disrespected and told the rest of the Gangster Disciples.”
The victim said he thought Pierce was no longer angry with him when he arrived at his house with four other gang members. They all walked to an abandoned house to smoke marijuana, according to police.
“(The victim) stated that he was not going to smoke, but he went anyway,” Jackson testified.
All of the suspects expect for the 13-year-old allegedly began beating the young man as soon as they arrived at the abandoned house. They stripped off all of his clothes, which the victim said symbolizes being removed from the gang.
Scott allegedly pointed a gun at the victim’s stomach as they beat him for about 30 minutes.
“(The victim) stated that the No. 1 rule of the Gangster Disciples is death before dishonor,” Jackson said. “(The victim) stated that ‘death before dishonor’ means that the gang would rather die than dishonor the gang, and any gang member caught dishonoring the gang would be put to death.”
Police confirmed that the victim was treated at the Midtown Medical Center and released.
The 15-year-old and his 13-year-old brother were apprehended in early May and charged as adults. They both face one count of armed robbery.
On May 8, Pierce was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant for armed robbery and battery with physical harm. Officials also charged him in an unrelated incident where he allegedly bit his mother on the arm and stole his stepfather’s 2017 Chevrolet Spark.
Pierce and the 15-year-old pleaded not guilty to their charges during Monday’s hearing. The youngest suspect’s hearing is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday.
All charges were bound over to Superior Court.