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Teen Goes on Brutal Robbery Spree to Pay a Fine, Police Say

By Katie Honan | March 3, 2015 7:38am
 Police said Givan Acevedo and two other suspects attacked four victims on a violent spree through Corona, including near this corner of 102nd Street. 
Police said Givan Acevedo and two other suspects attacked four victims on a violent spree through Corona, including near this corner of 102nd Street. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — A teen went on a brutal robbery spree in Queens because he owed money to pay a ticket — possibly issued for pot possession, according to police and court records.

During the hourslong crime spree, 17-year-old Givan Acevedo, an unidentified man and a younger teenage suspect — whose name was withheld by officials because he is charged as a minor — attacked four victims, breaking bones and knocking out teeth, prosecutors say.

"I needed to pay a ticket, so I rob people," Acevedo told investigators, according to the criminal complaint.

According to court records, Acevedo was issued a summons for marijuana possession on Jan. 10 and was scheduled to appear in Queens Criminal Court on March 18.

It was not clear if he was referring to the marijuana ticket or some other summons in his statement to police. According to the penal law, marijuana tickets carry a maximum fine of $100 for the first offense and $250 with two previous convictions.

The incidents come months after Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said police would stop arresting most people caught with small amounts of marijuana and would instead issue a ticket. 

The attacks began between 8:05 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. on Feb. 16 near the corner of 97th Street and 45th Avenue, according to the criminal complaint from the Queens District Attorney's office.

There, the trio punched and kicked a victim in the face while snatching his cellphone, MetroCard and cash.

The victim was treated at a hospital for bruises and a fractured nose and eye socket, the complaint states.

The group attacked again at 8:50 p.m. on 102nd Street near Strong Avenue, demanding cash and a cellphone and punching the victim in the face with enough force to knock the man's teeth loose, police said. As one suspect served as a lookout, the other two swiped the victim's phone and an unknown amount of American, Russian and European currency, according to the complaint.

An hour later, the group attacked a third man on Corona Avenue, near 102nd Street, and fractured his nose, police said.

Less than an hour after that, the suspects attacked another victim on the corner of 104th Street and 42nd Avenue, taking money and a cellphone, according to the criminal complaint. That man suffered bruising and swelling to his face.

Police officers from the 110th Precinct saw the group running away from the final victim and arrested two suspects — the minor and Acevedo. The older man got away, according to the criminal complaint.

The group had dropped the last victim's cellphone near the scene, court records show. But police said the suspects were still carrying the Russian and European currency and two of the victims' cellphones.

Acevedo told officers he got the idea to steal from his friends, according to the criminal complaints. He was charged with robbery and assault, both felonies.

He was released on bail on Feb. 20, according to city Department of Correction records.

Acevedo's lawyer at The Legal Aid Society could not immediately be reached for comment. Acevedo and his mother also did not immediately respond to messages for comment.