Chesterton Tribune


Portage boy with reported gang affiliations detained on gun charges

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A 14-year-old Portage boy reportedly with gang affiliations was detained on Wednesday after Portage Police said that he brought a handgun to Willowcreek Middle School, Portage Police said.

According to police, on Monday, Oct. 22, School Resource Officer Greg Coleman developed information that two students the week before had been seen in possession of handguns on the school bus. Coleman was able to identify one of the suspects, a 12-year-old boy who admitted bringing a Daisy BB gun—a “very realistic” copy of a Colt Model 1911—to school, but then getting scared and hiding the gun near his home.

The BB gun was recovered, police said.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old boy named another student, a 14-year-old friend, who he said was in possession of a real handgun. As it happens, that 14-year-old Coleman had arrested on Monday at Willowcreek MS on a delinquency charge of possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday, Coleman made contact with the 14-year-old’s mother, who gave him permission to search the residence. A handgun was subsequently found between the mattresses of the boy’s bed, police said.

During questioning—with his mother present—the boy admitted stealing the handgun two weeks earlier from an 18-year-old friend in Gary, police said.

“The juvenile also admitted that he was actively involved with the Gangster Disciples and their gang activity,” police said.

The boy was transported to the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center on delinquency charges of dangerous possession of a firearm and criminal gang activity.

For his part, the 12-year-old who admitted bringing the BB gun to school was expelled, police said.

“I would like to commend the actions of both School Resource Officers,” Police Chief Troy Williams said. “Officer Coleman and Candiano’s diligent efforts took a loaded gun off the streets of our city and put those who participate in this kind of activity on notice that we will not tolerate this type of activity in our community. If you involve yourself with drugs, guns, or gangs, you can expect the Portage Police to use all available resources to disrupt this kind of criminal activity resulting in your arrest and seizure of any illegal items and confiscation of assets gain through illegal activity. Our mission is simple. We will work tirelessly to keep our community safe.”


Posted 10/26/2012