Local News

Six teens charged in death of homeless Rocky Mount man

Posted January 17, 2012
Updated January 18, 2012

— Six teenagers face murder charges in the death of a homeless Rocky Mount man, who was robbed of a 24-ounce beer.

Authorities say Juan De La Cruz, 67, died Saturday after being assaulted in November.

Police reports show De La Cruz was leaving a convenience store Nov. 19 when the teenagers approached him, stole the beer, then assaulted him and ran away.

Witnesses told police he was attacked behind the car wash at Turner's Mini Mart.

"Some teens jumped on a man. They robbed him and beat him," a caller told 911 in a call released Wednesday. "He's beat up very bad. He's bleeding everywhere."

Police: Teens beat man for can of beer Police: Teens beat man for can of beer

De La Cruz spent more than a month in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville before he died last week.

Rocky Mount police Capt. Laura Fahnestock says an autopsy shows De La Cruz died of complications from blunt force trauma to the head.

Three 16-year-olds – Trekwan Dickens, Mikel Jones and Xaviera Davis – are charged with first-degree murder, along with two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old, whose names were not released due to their age.

Police say De La Cruz was from Cuba but had been alone in the U.S. for decades.

Those who knew him at the gas station say he was always polite and kind-hearted.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • bowens44 Jan 19, 2012

    I am amazed that so many people think that this a new phenomenon.
    There is nothing new here, this sort of thing has always gone on.

  • barbstillkickin Jan 19, 2012

    No need to pray for young people. We can thank all you activist that changed the laws to where a parent has no longer any control over children. There fore we have teens killing, robbing, stealing, and beating up other kids for fun. We need to put discipline back into the homes. The parents who abuse their children are still doing it. It is the parents who punish in a way where there is no beating that are not allowed to punish. My son got angry one time because he got smacked on his rear end and he told me he was going to call for abuse. You know what I did. I dialed the number for him. Parents take control and DON'T BACK DOWN. You will be happier and your children will regain some control. Think about it.

  • wildcat Jan 19, 2012

    Young people never learn. They learn the hard way and in prison they will find it not so sweet. Pray for these youngsters.

  • joekathyjoekathy Jan 19, 2012

    Simple, charge with murder 1, ALL going away for 20+ years it will be the only way this condoned behavior will be fixed with these teens being made an example of.

  • censorbait Jan 19, 2012

    It was "Mikel" Jones not Mike, dumbhick. And the names do speak volumes and are very predictable. No structure in the life of the kids or their parents.

  • Dick Jan 19, 2012

    @Crumps Br0ther
    Hey that's 4 ounces apiece...

  • EZeegoing Jan 19, 2012

    Yet another example of lack of violent tendancies among certain minorities.

  • Crumps Br0ther Jan 19, 2012

    How were 6 kids going to share one 24oz beer? Shows you the lack of critical thinking skills right there.

  • dumbhick Jan 19, 2012

    "Their names say it all!" Mike Jones?

  • alwaysCool Jan 18, 2012

    No I dont not expected this from a child or an adult. Race does not matter. Its a crime that is comitted that is the shocking. I wonder times if not for all the violence in video games, and tv shows that the young do not realize that once the life or damage is done, you can not just restart like the program and you can start back over.