Three people have been charged with robbery and recklessly endangering safety after they duped an Oak Creek man into handing over $300 for a phone and then drove off while he clung to their accelerating car, a criminal complaint says.
The victim said he had rendezvoused in Wauwatosa with a woman selling the phone on Craigslist, and when she and two men with her started away with the phone and his money, he reached into the car trying to grab the phone, then found himself going for a ride on the wrong side of the door. He let go and rolled away when he realized they were just going to keep going faster, he said.
Wauwatosa police spotted the car not long afterward and arrested the three suspects.
Charged last week in Milwaukee County Circuit Court were Andrea L. Shaw, Keshawn Marquis Sanders-Wilson and Tyvex Nassar Benford, all 21 and all from Milwaukee. If convicted on both counts, each could face up to 15 years in prison for robbery and 10 years for reckless endangerment.
According to the complaint:
On Jan. 8, the 20-year-old victim arranged to meet Shaw at the Qdoba Mexican Restaurant at 418 N. Mayfair Rd. in Wauwatosa to look at a Samsung Galaxy Note II phone she had listed for sale on Craigslist for $300.
He arrived around 9 p.m., he said, and waited in the parking lot until Shaw called him and asked if he was there. She flashed her lights to show that she was parked at the far end of the lot. The victim got out and walked to the "dirty white car," which he noted was backed into its space.
He approached the driver, Sanders-Wilson, who told him to go around to the passenger side and talk to Shaw. She handed him the phone to inspect and, pleased with its condition, he handed her three $100 bills.
Then, he said, Shaw asked him to give her back the phone so she could "unlock the pass code off the Internet." He at first refused, but she insisted, and he finally, reluctantly, handed it back.
A man in the back seat, Benford, began to make small talk with him, he said, while Shaw fiddled with the phone. The victim was bent down, with his head halfway in the car and his arms resting on the window, when without warning Sanders-Wilson began to pull away.
A short, frightening ride
The Oak Creek man said he instinctively took hold of the car and tried to grab the phone back from Shaw, while Sanders-Wilson continued to accelerate out of the back entrance and onto North 107th Street at about 25 miles per hour.
Picking up his feet to avoid being dragged on the pavement, the victim next found himself being punched over and over in the face by Benford from the back seat. He said he heard the car accelerating and decided it was time to let go while he still could, and rolled several times on the pavement, injuring his knees, back and left hand.
He quickly dialed 911 though, and gave a description of the car. It was hardly necessary.
On Blue Mound Road at 73rd Street, a patrol officer who had just heard the call spotted the car traveling at 65 mph in the 30 mph zone. He pursued and pulled the three over. The Samsung phone was found stuffed behind the back seat. Shaw had put the $300 cash down her underwear, where, she admitted, she also had a bag of marijuana.
A detective provided her with a pair of latex gloves with which she was to retrieve those items and drop them carefully into evidence bags.