A Grand Jury convened by the Westchester District Attorney in White Plains, NY has indicted two New Rochelle High School students for Attempted Armed Robbery - 2nd Degree. According to New Rochelle Police, the pair, Jermaine McCleod, 19, and Rashad Simpson,17 are alleged to have confronted a student in the hallways student at New Rochelle High School, indicated they had a weapon and demanded the students wallet. When the student refused and attempted to walk away, Simpson moved to block the way of the student, preventing him from leaving. The incident ended when a school district employee happened upon the scene.
The incident occurred on February 9th, just a day after McCleod had been caught stealing money from a cash register at the school cafeteria. McCleod and Simpson are well-known to police and prosecutors.
McCleod who resides at 110 Horton Avenue has been in the Westchester County Jail since his arrest. He has been placed in the juvenile detention center but will be transferred to the general population once his case his referred to Superior Court. Simpson resides at 550 5th Avenue has been out on bail but will face a new bail hearing.
According to the original New Rochelle Police arrest report:
The defendant(s) at the above date [February 9, 2011], time and place, did while aiding, abetting and acting in concert with one another, did attempt to forcibly steal property from VICTIM when at the above location they and other unidentified individuals gathered in close physical proximity to VICTIM nd while doing so defendant McCleod motioned as if he had a weapon in his pocket while demanding that VICTIM hand over his money while at the same time defendant Simpson stood in close proximity in an effort to prevent VICTIM from fleeing. VICTIM was able to flee when a security officer spotted them.
There is some question about the school district's claim that a security officer intervened. Talk of the Sound has learned that it was actually a buildings and grounds employee who intervened. No report was made to New Rochelle Security until the following day, by a parent of the victim.
As is often the case, the school district security staff deleted video of the crime, failing to turn over evidence to prosecutors from the District Attorney's office.
In his Grand Jury testimony, New Rochelle Security Director Bruce Daniele failed to properly identify the two suspects despite full knowledge of the pair. Daniele has also asserted that his assistant security director, Rolf Kohler intervened at the time of the incident on February 9, 2011 when it was actually Werner Graefe, the school locksmith.