NEW BRITAIN - A 15-year-old boy involved in a police shooting that killed another man has been charged as an adult with an East Hartford robbery, court officials said.
The teen was in the front seat of a green Toyota Paseo driven by aspiring rapper Zoe Dowdell with 18-year-old Noah Young in the back seat when New Britain police fired on the vehicle as the three tried to flee while driving at officers the night of Dec. 14. Dowdell was killed by the gunfire. The 15-year-old was wounded and Young was grazed by a bullet.
The car was believed to be the vehicle used in a string of violent armed robberies in New Britain and other towns when city officers went looking for the Toyota that night. A gun was found in the car after the shooting, state police said. The teen was carrying heroin and bullets in his pockets and Young was carrying three bundles of heroin.
The 15-year-old was charged by juvenile summons with carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, possession of a pistol without a permit and possession of narcotics. Young was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and risk of injury to a child. He has been held on $1 million bond since his arrest.
“I’m not sure how he could be charged with risk of injury,” Young’s public defender Michael Isko said during his presentment in the felony court at New Britain Superior Court Wednesday. “$1 million bond seems excessive.”
One of the co-defendants posted a “Snapchat” social media video of the three in the car with a gun, said Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Gailor with the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office arguing against lowering Young’s bond. “We have already arrested the co-defendant on robbery charges.”
More robbery arrests are likely, said Gailor who is prosecuting the case. The 15-year-old has been charged with an East Hartford robbery and will be prosecuted as an adult, Gailor said later after the court appearance. Gailor declined to provide any more information until the 15-year-old appeared in the felony court at Hartford Superior Court as an adult.
New Britain Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander denied Isko’s bid to have Young’s bond lowered based on the possibility he could also be facing robbery charges.
The case is troubling and confusing, said Jay Young, the owner of “Street Tatts” tattoo shop in Hartford, who is no relation to Noah Young. “He was a cool kid, a good kid as far as I know,” he said of Dowdell who performed under the name “Gangstalicious.” “He was a really great rapper and one of the funniest kids you ever met.”
Jay Young met Dowdell in Hartford as part of a group of kids who hung out in the same neighborhood as the tattoo shop. He happened to be at New Britain Superior Court as Noah Young was appearing Wednesday. He didn’t know Noah Young, he said. But he was surprised that Dowdell had gotten involved in robberies. “I’ve never known him or heard of him being involved in stuff like that,” Jay Young said. “The kids he was hanging with though, they were the ones into that activity. He was good rapper. I was surprised that happened. Everyone thought he was one of the ones who’d make it (as a rap star).”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.