One of the three suspects in a string of armed robberies and kidnappings in the student-heavy area near the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium said Friday he had “nothing to do with it.”
“I was just trying to take care of my sick mother,” 17-year-old Raquan Green told a judge as he waited for bond to be set on the third of three charges against him.
Judge Ethel Brewer set an additional $35,000 bond for Green, on top of the $40,000 bond set for him Thursday after he initially was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping. A charge of possessing a weapon during a violent crime was added later.
“He is a flight risk,” Assistant Solicitor John Steadman told the judge.
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Green is one of three teenaged suspects in a string of seven armed robberies, carjackings and kidnappings that happened July 3 through Wednesday in the Bluff and Shop road corridor, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Two 15-year-old boys, who have not been named, also have been arrested and charged. Both are facing charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
One of the younger teens will also face one count of attempted murder and a charge of assault on a police officer while resisting arrest, which resulted in the hospitalization of the arresting deputy for a non-life-threatening leg injury.
This week’s arrests happened after a 20-year-old Midlands Tech student, returning home late at night from her waitressing job, escaped from three kidnappers, one of whom had a gun. They grabbed her at the Village of Columbia apartments, 1050 Southern Drive.
She foiled them by jumping out of her moving car after they forced her to withdraw money from an ATM and threatened to take her to a nearby house and rape her, she said.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the frequency of the teens’ crimes and the level of violence was increasing with every crime they committed. He said the crimes might have been racially motivated: The teens seemed to want to target white people.
One of the teens pointed a gun to the chest of one of his victims and asked, “Do you know what Russian roulette is?” before pulling the trigger, Lott said. The gun did not fire.
“These are hardcore kids,” Lott said. “These are not the first crimes they had committed.”
Green was charged in May with attempted grand larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle. Those charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing just weeks before Green was arrested in connection with July’s robberies and kidnappings, according to Steadman.
One of the other suspects in the robberies and kidnappings also was arrested earlier with Green in connection with the grand larceny and stolen vehicle charges, Steadman said.
A RUN OF ROBBERIES
Richland County Sheriff’s Department chronology of incidents:
- On July 3, a Monday, at 11:30 p.m., a delivery driver from China Wing Basket was robbed at gunpoint in the 100 block of Aster Circle.
- On July 15, a Saturday, at 7:50 p.m., a delivery driver for Teapot Chinese Restaurant was robbed at gunpoint at 1051 Southern, the Village at Columbia Apartments.
- On July 17, a Monday, at 7:13 p.m., a delivery driver was robbed and assaulted at 1612 Bentley Court.
- On July 19, a Wednesday, at 11:40 p.m., a delivery driver was kidnapped and abducted at 1050 Southern Drive (the Village at Columbia apartments).
- On July 25, a Tuesday, at 1:30 a.m., a victim was kidnapped and abducted at 112 Silo Court (the Stadium Suites apartments).
- Also on July 25, at 2 a.m., a victim was robbed, carjacked and kidnapped at Stadium Suites.