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Anti-gang worker held in robbery, beating

January 10, 2009 |  9:45 pm

A Los Angeles anti-gang intervention worker was arrested Saturday in connection with a jewelry robbery and beating at a Universal City hotel, police said.

The suspect, Marlo “Bow Wow” Jones, 30, was a contract employee for the anti-gang organization Unity One, which is hired for the city’s L.A. Bridges II  gang intervention program, according to the LAPD.

Jones was charged in a Jan. 5 robbery in which a male victim was beaten and choked in his hotel room and stripped of his jewelry.  Jones was being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail at Parker Center Jail. Other suspects remained at large and the victim has not been publicly identified, LAPD spokeswoman Ana Aguirre said Saturday night.

   Following Unity One’s policy, Jones was terminated Saturday from his contract with Unity One, said Aqeela Sherrills, a program management consultant with the agency. If Jones is later cleared of the charges, Unity One could possibly re-hire him, Sherrills said.

   “It’s very unfortunate that this situation has happened,” said Sherrills, who added that he hoped the arrest “would not cast a shadow” on anti-gang intervention efforts.

Unity One was founded after the 1992 Los Angeles riots by Darren “Bo” Taylor, a former gang member who became a peacekeeper respected by street toughs as well as by law enforcement and community activists struggling to reduce inner-city violence.  Taylor died in August.

The LAPD is asking anyone with information concerning the robbery to call North Hollywood robbery detectives at (818) 623-4061. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cellphone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.

-- Larry Gordon and Andrew Blankstein