Teen gang member gets 37 years in prison for shooting during softball game


A Toledo gang member who fired into a crowd attending a Saturday afternoon softball game was sentenced today to 37 years in prison.

Benjamin Besteder, Jr., 19, of 523 Cadillac Ct., had been found guilty following a jury trial earlier this month of three counts of felonious assault and one count of discharge of a firearm upon or over a public road or highway, all with firearms specifications.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks imposed the maximum sentence, calling Besteder “a very, very dangerous individual.”

A member of the X Blocc, a Crips gang, Besteder fired at least five shots from a car as it was passing the park at Forest and Grand avenues during a softball game May 25. Ernest Reed, 26, was wounded, and two shots struck a parked ice cream truck with two people inside.