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Published: Monday, 5/27/2013

Toledo man charged in shooting at area park

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A suspect charged in a shooting at Robinson Park in Toledo on Saturday was on probation from an assault conviction stemming from a fight at Scott High School in October, according to court records.

Benjamin Besteder, 18, of the 500 block of Cadillac Court in the Old West End, was arrested Saturday night on three counts of felonious assault for shootings that left one person injured.

The shooting occurred about 3:15 p.m. at Forest and Grand avenues in central Toledo, the location of Robinson Park.

Ernest Reed was taken by ambulance to Toledo Hospital with a wound not thought to be life-threatening, police said.

Mr. Besteder was being held in the Lucas County jail pending arraignment on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Heffernan said Sunday Mr. Besteder was arrested after he was found near a car that was parked near Detroit and Highland avenues; the car matched the description of one seen at the shooting.

He said witnesses from the shooting identified the vehicle and Mr. Besteder as one of the people in the car, but said the detectives are looking for other people as well.

“They drove by, fired some shots,” Sergeant Heffernan said. “There was other people in the car.”

A softball game was going on at the time.

He said five or six shots were fired and a couple of vehicles were struck, including an ice cream truck. He said Mr. Reed was shot in his buttock.

According to Toledo Municipal Court records, Mr. Besteder on Dec. 31, 2012, was sentenced to one year of probation after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault.

He was accused of punching another student in the face on the second floor of Scott High School on Oct. 26.

The police report in that incident said that the fight was about a slaying that occurred the preceding weekend and which was believed to be gang-related.

Sergeant Heffernan said there were indications that gang activity could have been involved in the Saturday shooting, including words that were said and the fact that the shooting and the place the car was found are in rival neighborhoods. But he said there could have been other reasons as well.

According to The Blade's “Gangs of Toledo” map published April 28, the area where the car was found is territory claimed by XBlocc gang.

Robinson Park is in a territory not attributed to any gang, but very close to several, including territory claimed by the Prospect Boys, Geer Gang Crips, Holly Rock, Foster Boys, and Lil Heads gangs.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.



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