The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

2 arrested in north Fayette home invasion


Only one of the three armed men who assaulted a north Fayette couple during a home invasion last week bothered to disguise himself with a ski mask.

That was a sign that one of the suspects knew the couple, and ultimately it led to the arrest of Resaul Malik Rayshad, 33, of Rex according to Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.

“He had been introduced to them by a third party,” Jordan said, adding that detectives consider Rayshad the “mastermind” of the caper.

Rayshad, who changed his name from Brian Randolf after converting to the Muslim faith, was arrested Jan. 27 less than 24 hours after the incident, Jordan said. A second suspect, Jessie James Mercer, 29, was arrested Friday by the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and warrants are out for a third suspect, George Roberts Jr., 30, of Decatur.

Rayshad and Mercer are charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault, all felonies.

The three suspects got away with cash and other items belonging to the victims including a .44 magnum handgun, Jordan said.

Each one of the suspects was armed with a gun when they burst into the couple’s home in the Kenwood Road area, Jordan said. The invasion became violent at times, Jordan noted, but no major injuries were reported.

“They were roughed up,” Jordan said, adding that the victims suffered from bruises and abrasions.

Records indicate the woman was pulled around the house by her hair and forced to shut off the home’s burglar alarm.

The couple was tied up before the trio got away, but the husband was able to work himself loose so he could call 911, Jordan added.