Community Organizers with “Stop the Violence” T-Shirts Beat Man Unconscious

Two “Stop the Violence” community organizers in Washington, Pennsylvania were arrested earlier this week for beating one of their roommates unconscious. The victim was beaten so severely that he had seizures in the street where the beating took place, and he vomited blood. He’s still in the hospital recovering. One of the suspects was wearing her “Stop the Violence” t-shirt. How ironic. The Associated Press reported:

Nikole Ardeno and Emanuel Velez, both 30, accused their former roommate of stealing their property, and allegedly punched and kicked him in the street until he had seizures. Arrested moments later, Ardeno was still wearing the same “Stop the Violence” T-shirt she had on the night before when she coordinated a march protesting two recent shootings, Washington Police Chief Chris Luppino said.

The victim, Joshua Magraff, also is a community organizer with the anti-violence group, and shared an apartment with the suspects until recently.

Online court records don’t list lawyers for the defendants, who face a preliminary hearing Nov. 10 on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Local “Stop the Violence” leader Suzanne Kelley said she hopes to hear from Ardeno, and insisted that “we don’t promote violence at all.”

“I can’t believe this is going on. I don’t want the community to get a negative effect from this because they back us,” Kelley said.

Police believe Ardeno and Velez attacked Magraff on Tuesday because he had gone to the apartment they had shared to collect his belongings. Ardeno and Velez had come to a police station about 20 minutes earlier, accusing Magraff of burglary, but police said he appeared to be taking only items that belonged to him as he moved out, Luppino said.

Magraff was still unconscious and in critical condition Wednesday at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh, Luppino said. A hospital spokeswoman declined to provide an update Thursday, citing a policy against releasing information about crime victims.

I think it goes without saying that this makes these community organizers not look so good. They claim they want to stop the violence, but they engage in it to the point of nearly taking another man’s life.