By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a report of a robbery involving handguns and threats against teenagers Wednesday in Chehalis.
Brandon Caley, 20, of Winlock, and Bryce A. Friedley, 17, of Chehalis made their first appearances in Lewis County Superior Court Friday on one count each of first-degree robbery.
Friedley was originally booked as a juvenile but is being charged as an adult due to his age and
the severity of the charge, said Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher.
Meagher asked that Friedley be held on $50,000 bail, based on Friedley’s self-professed gang ties and the violent nature of the incident.
Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke agreed to the bail amount.
“In reading this probable cause affidavit, I’m extremely concerned about community safety … (and) that this was a gang thing and that this happened at Penny Playground where there are children,” she said.
O’Rourke imposed $100,000 bail for Caley, who unlike Friedley has criminal history including felony convictions and has active misdemeanor warrants, one of which is for a fourth-degree assault charge.
Both are scheduled to appear at their arraignments in Lewis County Superior Court on Wednesday.
According to court documents, Friedley claimed the suspects were all members of a gang and appeared to threaten suspects when contacted by law enforcement.
“(T)hey better all stay in their houses and keep their doors locked, that’s all I’m saying about that,” Friedley is quoted in court documents as saying to police.
Investigators asked about the alleged robbery, and, according to court documents, “Friedley shook his head and said, ‘they should know better.’ ”
Two other suspects, described as Hispanic males in their 20s, are still being sought by law enforcement.
According to the Chehalis Police Department, at 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday, a group of high school students were walking near Chehalis’ Penny Playground when they were approached by four people in a grey Honda car which drove up onto a curb next to them.
The suspects were “reportedly looking for a specific individual with whom they had previously had a disagreement,” according to a news release from the police department.
According to court documents, Friedley and another teen had a dispute over a girl, and Friedley allegedly threatened to kill the other male in a text message.
That alleged victim ran away and jumped into the bed of a passing truck when Friedley and the others showed up, according to court documents.
The victims reported at least two of the suspects, including Caley, had handguns, and said Friedley hit a victim and took his headphones.
No injuries were reported.
Police learned of the incident on Thursday from Chehalis’ school safety officer, according to court documents.
The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chehalis Police Department at 360-748-8605 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.