Jury finds teen gunman guilty

Tue, 03/17/2009 - 10:43am
By: John Munford

Judge hands down 20 year sentence

A Fayette County jury convicted a College Park teen this morning of pointing a gun at two Fayetteville police officers while he ran away from them behind the Tinseltown movie theater Aug. 30.

Robert Eugene Crawford, who was 16 at the time and was tried as an adult, was found guilty of aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and giving a false name to a police officer. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Superior Court Judge Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr.

Both officers testified yesterday that as they chased Crawford on foot, the youth turned around and pointed a gun at them, during which time they heard a click, believed to be the gun’s trigger being pulled.

The gun did not fire, and Crawford threw the gun to the side while behind the Toys R Us store, the officers said.

Crawford also testified, admitting that he had the weapon to protect himself. But Crawford contended that he did not point it at the officers. Instead, Crawford said he was merely trying to throw the weapon away.

Shortly after, when Crawford was cornered by the two officers, he resisted arrest and cursed at the officers even after he was in handcuffs.

When asked why he did so, Crawford said it was because he felt he “hadn’t done anything wrong.”

One of the officers, Jarrad Overman, demonstrated for the court how Crawford, while still running, turned his torso sideways to take aim at them.

The actual gun Crawford used, a fully-loaded Glock 9mm pistol, was recovered at the scene, police said.

The foot chase began after Crawford and a second person were being questioned by Officer Todd Chitwood after he saw them smoking behind the Tinseltown movie theater. Both officers testified that they feared for their life as the gun was pointed in their direction.

Crawford’s defense attorney, Christopher Flinn, agreed that his client should be found guilty of giving a false name to a police officer. But he said both officers might be “mistaken” in thinking they heard the gun click, and asked the jury to acquit his client on the aggravated assault and firearm possession charges.

In his closing argument, Ballard said Crawford, the son of a former Fulton County police officer, should be thanking Chitwood for not shooting him.

“There is a hero,” Ballard said, pointing to Chitwood at the prosecution table.

Ballard argued that not only did Crawford deserve to hear a guilty verdict, but so do the people he associates with, so they can know they can’t come to Fayette County and try to shoot at police officers.

Crawford’s father, who said he trained his son how to handle a gun when he was younger, testified that he had no idea his son had a weapon. The father also testified that the $200 in cash his son had could have been leftover from the youth’s recent birthday as family members gave him cash instead of presents.

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SPQR's picture
Submitted by SPQR on Wed, 03/18/2009 - 10:42am.

Hope this kid is totally nonredeemable because he is really going to be a problem after a few years of incarceration

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 8:04pm.

Good job, let the thugs know that come on down and well send you away for a long time.....Now thats sending a crystal clear message, lets hope it gets around....PEACE

Ketey's picture
Submitted by Ketey on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 3:06pm.

I'm so sick and tired of the gun control whiners. You will never be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, no matter what's done. Give it up. Raise your children to respect others as themselves. And stop trying to take away my rights as a citizen and taxpayer of this wonderful country.

Shoebox's picture
Submitted by Shoebox on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 8:14am.

Wake up! Take the guns away from your kids! A gun can end a life. Good parenting can save a life. Teach your children righteous living, real courage, and true character by actually talking to your children, spending time with them, loving them, and disciplining them. That takes guts! You can do it!

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:04am.

Why does a 16-year-old need a loaded gun? For protection? Protection from what? Don’t we have police officers to protect us?

Most people don’t need guns. Guns lead to more trouble, pain and aggravation than they’re worth.

Quite often, they lead to gun accidents, where a small child is killed while a family member is either demonstrating the gun, cleaning it (supposedly), or accidentally dropping it. Children also can “find” the gun and kill themselves or others.

Or else a gun leads to trouble with the law when people forget it is in their suitcase or their briefcase (or whatever) and try to take it to the airport or to the courthouse.

Or else people do something reckless in the heat of passion, without sufficient time to cool off before they lay their hands on a gun.

Then in many cases someone ends up getting shot and possibly dead. In any event the person with the gun ends up in major trouble, without ever once in his/her life having had “protection.”

Not having a gun protects you (and people around you) from a lot of headaches.

Don’t the gun nuts ever get it?

Submitted by Insayn on Sun, 03/22/2009 - 1:54pm.

So your saying (as always) outlaw guns, take them away, no one needs one because they cause crime right?

Hows this argument.

Car control:
Take away peoples cars. Take away peoples cars and people wouldn't run over other people. or run stop signs and kill people. or drive drunk and kill people...


Take away Wal Mart. Because Wal Mart causes crime. Think about it. If Wal Marts were outlawed no one would shoplift from walmart and there wouldn't be crime.


Take away TV. Because watching TV makes people more violent which makes people kill other people.

You dont want a gun, dont get one. But dont tell me what I can and cant have. It aint your business.

Dont the Anti-gun nuts ever get it?

Submitted by fayettedawg6973 on Fri, 05/15/2009 - 5:51am.

heck for 20 years he should of shot those pigs lol

redrooster's picture
Submitted by redrooster on Sun, 03/22/2009 - 11:47am.

The police are here to protect us? This may be true but only if they are there at the exact time of the crime. You take your chances. I prefer to let the police do the paper work once they arrive.
More people die from drug overdoses with legal prescriptions they got from their doctors than from accidental shootings. More children die from bicycle accidents yearly than accidental or intentional shootings.
Heroin is illegal though more people die from heroin overdoses than accidental shooting. Take the blue pill and unplug from the matrix.
If guns were outlawed, then in the "heat of passion" a baseball bat would work just as good, though very messy.
Not having a gun protects you (and people around you) from a lot of headaches? Sounds like you've been drinking the cool-aid.
If some 16 year old punk wants a gun, the he will find one just like you use to drive to Fulton county to by beer when Fayette county was dry!


Check FBI statistics on firearm related murders and violent crimes in cities and states that have the toughest or out right bans on gun ownership

Not convinced? Then you trust your life to your sheepherder.

7.62 X 51 The one shot solution!

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Sun, 03/22/2009 - 12:14pm.

California has had an "assault weapons" ban for over ten years. They've outlawed guns and now, only their outlaws have guns. Yesterday, four Oakland cops were gunned down by a thug using a rifle that has been illegal in California since 1989. Great work, Cali. I was born at the hospital where the officers were taken and later died.

After the thug shot the cops, 20 or so everyday citizens took time to celebrate and taunt officers about their fallen brothers. Get your swag on, O-town.

Behold: http://www.kswt.com/Global/story.asp?S=10049212&nav=menu613_2_6

WWDMS? (What Would David's Mom Say)

My 7.62x39 solves, too.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 7:50pm.

President Obama noted that we need to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico. Anyone have any idea what illegal guns he is refereing to?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:33pm.

Our Guberment sold the weapons to help control their southern border.. instead they were re-routed to the cartels.. great huh.. Another screwed up deal by the Guberment.. Everytime they try to do one thing.. the exact opposite occurs.. The Law of unintended consequencies..

I will not lower my standards.. So UP YOURS.. Evil


DarthDubious's picture
Submitted by DarthDubious on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 2:25pm.

there is a complete gun-ban in Mexico, and look at what is happening down there.

The feds want to put more gun control up here to control what's happening down there by reinstating the ridiculous Clinton era bans? WHAT?

YES! They figure fully automatic weapons are being smuggled south and getting into the hands of the drug cartels. When actually they are being sold to the Mexican government by the US govt, and are being bought by the criminals from the corrupt police and military.

In Liberty,


Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 9:38am.

I want to read about all the cases that people have been arrested in lately involving LEGAL guns. I want to read about all the trouble they cause.

ALL this kid had to do was NOT RUN from the cops. Or not have the gun illegally in/around the theater.

WakeUp's picture
Submitted by WakeUp on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:55am.

If you don't want a gun, don't have a gun. But the Constitution gives me the right to have and carry a gun. And guess what? I have a gun and I carry. Why is it that if you don't agree with someone, you just call them a nut, or some other name. And why is your way of thinking the only "correct" way and I am a nut. You just don't get it.....

Now I agree, a 16 year old thug with a gun is not only stupid but illegal.

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:53am.

does not hold water... Because a 16yo was carrying a gun ILLEGALLY this is your argument that guns should be banned..?
What if he was carrying a knife.. Slingshot.. Bow and Arrow.. you get the point.. Illegal activities rather armed or not are going to occur.. it is up to the law-enforcement community to enforce them.. not GOVERMENT..
Using your logic.. if the 16yo used a car to run over his ex-girl friend and several of her friends and killed them.. then we would be discussing banning cars..

I will not lower my standards.. So UP YOURS.. Evil


The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:44am.

The kid was already breaking the law by having that handgun, loaded, and concealed. What control did the government have on that kid prior to his decisions to break the law? How was gun control going to change an already illegal situation?

I was a peacekeeper in Haiti in 1995. I did not see private ownership of guns (at least openly), but what I saw were a lot of machetes and a lot of hacked up bodies. If people are criminals, they will figure out a way to intimidate or coerce. They had a form of gun control there historically where only the tyrannical government was well armed. How has that worked for them?

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:55am.

Smart people don't willingly go to Haiti. Haiti is no model for our US society. (To be blunt about it, it's hardly civilized.)

Had "the kid" lived in a society with a less permissive view of handgun ownership and where handguns are harder to get, he might not so easily have "found" the gun he had and be in the trouble he is in, and his poor mother and father (and perhaps siblings) would not be in agony over what is happening now.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 8:01am.

He was on the road to ruin with a criminal intent already established. If he did not have a gun, he would have used an available weapon. There have been cases of "armed robbery" with a large rock. It depends upon your intent and how you wield it.

If your kid is hanging out in the back of a movie theater with a loaded gun, then you already should be in agony for the life choices that your kid is making. This should not have been the first warning sign to an involved parent.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 8:37am.

It is not easy being a parent, especially when your children get in their teens.

The one thing parents dread most is the bad influence of other kids their children meet in school. Most parents cannot afford to put their children in private schools, which have acceptance standards, and rely on our public schools, which are obliged to take on nearly all comers.

In this case, the father was a police officer, so the child can be presumed to have come from a so-called good (law-abiding) family, with a male role model in the family. Nonetheless, bad influences from school mates and the neighborhood can at least temporarily derail a teenager. That does not mean the teenager is hopeless.

Had this teenager found it more difficult to obtain a gun, he might not be in the serious trouble he is in, and his family would not be in the emotional turmoil it is in, not to mention the legal expenses it is now incurring.

The gun nuts are ready to write off teenagers like him, because they have little understanding of the social sciences like sociology and psychology. Their brains are as blunt as their guns. You don’t argue with a gun, and there is no arguing with them.

My point is: having no gun can keep you out of more trouble than owning a gun. This kid’s case is just another example.

Submitted by 1bighammer on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 3:42pm.

Had this teenager found it more difficult to obtain a gun, he might not be in the serious trouble he is in, and his family would not be in the emotional turmoil it is in, not to mention the legal expenses it is now incurring.

Is that more difficult to find than the Drugs that teens do?....psst they are illegal. Fact is the criminal element amongst us is going to get what they want when they want it, be it a gun, drugs, knives, or whatever!

In my opinion if you pull a gun and point it at ANYONE especially an officer...you should be shot. Death is a great deterrent to crime.

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 11:29am.

I'm 51 and have owned a gun of some kind most of my life, and have had no problems, never had to pull it on someone or something. I am not a hunter, (not because I have any feelings against it, my wife and kid wouldn't eat anything I brought home anyway, so if I feel like eating Bambi or Thumper, I bum some off of a friend) so I only have a gun for protection, just in case, the same way I have insurance on my car, house, and life.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 1:01pm.

Geez Hutch I didn't realize you were such a young pup. That 866 must have been a real clunker by the time you got there. My rides, first the 777 was decommissioned in '71 and sold to Iran in 1973 and the 808 scrapped in '73. They were built in '43 and '45 respectively. Too bad $ isn't around to comment on the personal exchanges.

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 1:32pm.

Once you got past the living conditions and the ride, you're right not much left. I left at the end of 79 and we decommed her in 82 and sold her to Pakistan who sailed her till 99. In the words of my ancestors, Aye, she was a bonnie lass. We probably shaved with her about 2001 or so. I love it when someone calls me a young pup, don't happen enough lately. Have you tried Hullnumber.com yet?

I yam what I yam....Popeye

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 9:05pm.

Yep, been there, also Haze Gray and Underway, Naval Historical Center and TCS. Those and my two ship sites and Bainbridge, MD where I went for boot and two schools. Still have found only three shipmates in about 7 or 8 years and 1 of them I never knew.

Fred Garvin's picture
Submitted by Fred Garvin on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 7:13am.

"Not having a gun protects you"

Just for that, maple, I'm gonna go out and buy ANOTHER gun.

hahahahahahahahahahahaha - you're too funny.

The United States of America
July 4, 1776 - Jan 20, 2009
Rest in Peace

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 1:59am.

Lucky he is alive to even stand trial. Most law enforcement officers, including myself back in the day, would have dropped him where he stood.

If he did nothing wrong, he should have never run. But, he knew they would find the gun and he would be sitting in the back of radio car. Time to send a message, Fayette County will not tolerate anyone pointing a gun at our officers, peroid.

Robert Eugene Crawford should be found guilty.

Submitted by Davids mom on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 10:09pm.

This kid is lucky to be alive. He tried to kill another human being! Officer Chitwood could have been a victim. That would have been a 'righteous' shooting, well within 'code'. No business sitting 'behind' the buildings in the Pavilion - and certainly no business with a loaded glock! Not all policemen will be as well trained and cool under pressure. In LA or New York, this would have been a dead teenager.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 9:00pm.

slam and dunk.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by UrKidding on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 8:36pm.

maybe appropriate?

Submitted by mysteryman on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:38pm.

Sorry folks i just cannot help my self....Lets recap shall we..

1. You lie to the officers..

2. You were 16 at the time and in posession of a concealed firearm.

3. You refuse to cooperate with the officers investigation, they were only questioning you as to your being on the premisis, had you not run you may have been free to go...IDIOT

4. You attempt to flee, even though you were not under arrest at the time...Unbelievable

5. During your attempt to flee you produce a weapon and train it on the pursuing officers...

6. Then for whatever reason, after all that you try to disburse with the weapon in plain view of the officers...

7. Can you say case closed???? I like the way you say that kids...

This is a classic example of what not to do when questioned by the man....BLESS

Submitted by mysteryman on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 6:34pm.

The subsequent weapon was brandished, and being trained on an officer, while said assailiant was in flight... It does not matter if it went click and misfired, just the fact that this clown was not popped and dropped on site is sheer testament to the outstanding officers we have here in our community. The fool should have known better, given the fact that his dad was a cop. This boy should do some major time, and owes his life to the officers who would have been more than justified had they killed this individual. Even if he was found innocent of commiting a crime, his crime is apparent the second the pistol was brought into play, resisting arrest, failure to comply with an officer, attempting to flee, the list goes on and on.....BLESS

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Tue, 03/17/2009 - 2:15am.

But I've thought this scenario out many times, and I can't imagine a scenario where I would not shoot this kid until dead. I just can't. Even as this kid's father, there is no way in Hades that I would make excuses for him. Time to learn what CONSEQUENCES are.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 7:00pm.

I certainly hope his dad apologized to the cops involved. His worthless garbage son put them through hell. If anyone should understand what that is like he should. He shouldn't be defending his son.

This young man knew exactly what he was doing.

He turned his back to the cops so they couldn't defend their lives.

He needs the maximum sentence and a pair of fishnet stockings, and I hope he does NOT survive prison life.

Shoebox's picture
Submitted by Shoebox on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 5:58pm.

Another teen life "shot to hell" by his own wrong decisions and an innocent, PROTECTOR/ENFORCER OF THE LAW almost killed! PARENTS: Wake up! Teach your children righteous living, real courage and character, instead of guns and violence!

Submitted by fiddle on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 6:29pm.

AMEN! Sister

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