Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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Police car with red and blue flashing lights on empty night street background, crime scene, night patrolling the city, fight against looting during quarantine.

Photo: Evgen_Prozhyrko / iStock / Getty Images

        Meet Jayvon. He gets around.


               “Jayvon” is the name I’m giving a 17-year-old tied by authorities to crimes in Syracuse and Rochester. If his name actually turns out to be Jayvon, well, who knows, maybe I’m clairvoyant.


               Jayvon likes to drive stolen cars.


               That’s what he was doing back in September, when he pointed one at the deputy and accelerated. There had been break-ins at two smoke shops in the overnight and an Onondaga County deputy sheriff rolled up on two stolen vehicles idling in a corner lot in Dewitt. The deputy dismounted and one of the vehicles sped off. The other, with Jayvon at the wheel, was partially blocked in by the deputy’s cruiser.


               It was Jayvon, who’s 17, and another 17-year-old, and a 15-year-old, and the deputy, and Jayvon guns it at the deputy.


               And the deputy fires. It was bang, bang, bang, and the car sped away.


               One round hit the seat belt restraint above Jayvon’s left shoulder and he bent down and veered away. The second round hit the front-seat passenger in the side, the third round hit the back-seat passenger in the head.


               Jayvon dumped them both. They were refugee kids, their families moved here from Africa and were settled by one charity or another in the poorest part of Syracuse. Jayvon drove on a ways and pulled over and jumped out and ran off, another car apparently circling back to get him. The mortally wounded front-seat passenger tried to drive the car away, but ultimately became incapacitated.


               And Jayvon got out of state. Someplace south. Georgia, Florida, maybe both.


               And the attorney general got involved.


               The deputy fired and two teen-agers died, two more casualties of the epidemic of stolen cars and thievery plaguing urban America. But there was a cop involved so the attorney general is involved and that has put a hold on everything.


               Including the warrants that were prepared for Jayvon.


               The attorney general in Albany said to not do anything, and so nothing has been done, or can be done, until the attorney general finishes her investigation. Those usually take three to six months.


               And a lot can happen in three to six months.


               For example, the gang Jayvon and the two deceased boys ran with was back to planning criminal activity within two days of the incident in Dewitt. How do the authorities know that? Because the gang was run off a group text, and the authorities had the cellphones of the two lads who were dead, and it took the rocket scientists in the stolen Kias a while to figure that out.


               Now the story moves ahead four months and 90 miles, and Jayvon is behind the wheel of another stolen car.


               This one is apprehended by officers of the Rochester Police Department who were responding to a break in at a smoke shop on Park Avenue – a smoke shop on Park Avenue tied to a gunpoint home-invasion robbery two weeks before. In the car with Jayvon this time were two 15-year-olds.


               Apparently Jayvon likes to mentor younger gang bangers.


               They also had some $4,000 worth of merchandise stolen from the smoke shop.


               At any rate, this being New York and the Democrats being in bed with the criminals, everybody got an appearance ticket, and the 15-year-olds may have gotten a lollipop, because of their age.


               And who knows where Jayvon is. Maybe he’s memorizing Bible verses and studying for a spelling test.


               Or maybe he’s right back at it, preying on society.


               Because, thus far, nothing seems to have slowed him down.


               Not the fear of punishment by the legal system, not the shock of a deputy’s bullet passing inches from his head, not the heartbreak and guilt of driving two teen-aged boys to their death, not the specter of an attorney general’s investigation hanging over his head, and not the fear of apprehension by cops far from home.


               If the authorities of different agencies are correct in their suspicions, Jayvon is a hardened criminal, and he is the poster boy for the failed criminal-justice policies of New York politicians. Jayvon is the consequence of no consequences, he is a young man who has not been rehabilitated and from whom society has not been protected.


               He has been taught that he won’t be punished for doing wrong, and that has led to him doing more wrong. A lot more wrong.


               And he’s only 17.

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