After an extensive investigation, the Houston Police Department arrested nine juveniles, including a 10-year-old boy, in connection with a series brutal robberies and assaults along a busy bicycle trail.
Since May, more than 20 riders have been knocked from their bikes, beaten with bricks or rocks and subsequently robbed on the Columbia Tap Trail — a four-mile hike and bike circuit that connects the Third Ward with downtown Houston. A number of victims were threatened with guns.
Police spokesperson Jodi Silva confirms for CultureMap that, in spite of initial rumors, the incidents had no official ties to any Houston-area gangs.
"Some said it was just fun, others said they needed the money," HPD captain Glenn Yorek told reporters. "They needed the money to eat. They needed the money for tennis shoes."
The suspects, each aged 16 and under, were taken into custody on Tuesday from various locations. All but the youngest were referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation Department on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. The 10-year-old faces allegations of robbery.
Watch the full KHOU Ch. 11 report: