Police reports on three young men arrested in a "credible threat" against officers publicized Tuesday show no mention of the comment one made to police about their intention to harm officers nor do the reports show that any of them were booked on counts relating to making intimidating statements.
Antonio Thomas, 17, said he wanted "to look for bullets to kill police officers," said Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L'Jean McKneely. The teen was stopped while riding a white bicycle eastbound on Government Street at 2:21 a.m. Saturday because he matched the description of someone accused in multiple batteries, the report says.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said at a press conference Tuesday — called after a local TV station, citing unnamed sources, revealed details of the investigation — that Thomas' statement to detectives provided enough evidence for "enough of a credible threat to take it really seriously," particularly since a gunman in Dallas on Thursday night killed five police officers and wounded six more.
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Dabadie, as well as leaders of other local law enforcement agencies, said Tuesday the local threat partly justified the heavy police presence at protests over the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police. The presence of officers in riot gear, of others carrying assault-style weapons and of armored vehicles has been criticized by activists and some civil liberties groups.
Thomas had three firearms during an encounter with an officer and admitted he'd stolen them from the Cash American Pawn Shop, according to the report. He is accused of simple burglary and theft of a firearm.
Malik Bridgewater, 20, was also arrested and accused of burglarizing the pawn shop with Thomas, according to another report. Bridgewater, located at his house, had in his possession "some of the firearms" stolen from the store, the report says. Bridgewater is accused of simple burglary and theft of a firearm.
Trashone Coats, 17, was not accused in the burglary, but he had a firearm that was among those stolen from the pawn shop, according to a police report. After an officer responded to a complaint of people brandishing guns in the 2100 block of Nebraska Street on Sunday, Coats ran away and threw a firearm on the ground before hiding in brush, the report says.
After he was caught, Coats told police he had been given the firearm as protection during a robbery and tried to "throw it back." A total of two weapons that had been stolen from the pawn shop were recovered during Coats' arrest, the report says.
Coats was booked on illegal possession of stolen firearms, according to jail records, and has since been released on bail.
Coats' mother, Monique White, said police are confusing her son with a 23-year-old person who is still at large.
"They are trying to put lies and fibs on him," said White, of Baton Rouge. "He didn't do nothing to do any kind of riot against the police."
She said her son doesn't know the others who have been arrested and that Coats never had possession of the guns police say he had.
She was angry that she "had to hustle up the money to bond him out of jail." Coats, who will be a senior at McKinley High School, is one of White’s four children.
She said he bonded out Monday morning after nearly two days in jail.
"He's never been arrested at all (before this),” she said. “He has no record."
Bail for the other two named defendants has been set at $10,000, according to jail records.
McKneely said additional charges could be added for any of the defendants, citing the ongoing investigation.