Seven teens were arrested and charged for acting as a gang in connection with the assault and robbery of a Covington juvenile, according to the Covington Police Department.
The teens, who called themselves the "Corporation of Killers" or COK, were all charged under the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, legislation passed in 2006 that can increase or even double the penalties faced by defendants when they commit crimes as part of a street gang, according to CPD spokesperson Detective Daniel Seals.
They were also charged with robbery, aggravated assault, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and a few were charged with destruction of evidence for trying to destroy drugs in their possession, said Seals.
Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton said this type of gang activity was rare.
"When we come across that kind of activity, we're going to investigate it to the fullest extent," said Cotton. "I want the community to know, when the information is there, we won't just arrest one person, we'll arrest everyone involved if we can prove it."
The defendants, which comprised most of the gang, were interviewed, arrested and charged and the case solved in a little more than 24 hours after the assault and robbery, said Seals, due to the work of lead investigator Sgt. Arvo Bowen, primary responding Officer Gene Nuqui and other officers on the shift.
"We haven't used the act very often at all," said Seals. He said kids would go around together in friendship packs, but they wouldn't necessarily make themselves a gang.
Two of the defendants were considered adults - Laquane Stroud, 17, of Covington, and Cleveland Brady, 17, of Covington - and the rest ranged in age from 14 to 16.
The group, which mostly came from the Housing Authority area with one member living in a nearby neighborhood and one living in Conyers, told police about their gang and how it worked, said Seals. He said they told police there was no leader and all members had an equal say.
Cotton described the COK's activities as not very complex, partly because most of them couldn't drive, but that the group was on its way to becoming more violent.
"They'd pick on somebody, and eventually someone's going to get hurt," he said.
The group allegedly beat and robbed a 16-year-old while he was walking home along the railroad tracks on the evening of March 24.
The victim, who is still healing from his injuries, described the sight of eight to 10 boys running at him.
"When I looked back, it looked like a herd of racing horses," he said.
He told police that one boy initially knocked him down with a punch to the face while about three other boys kicked and punched him for about three minutes before taking the money in his pocket.
He said a friend had heard some of the boys bragging during school about what they had done.
Although some of the group members are already out on bond, he said he did not feel particularly threatened, but had seen strange vehicles stop outside his house.