Preston Lord : Teen Violence in East Valley: Causes, Impacts, Solutions

Group Teen Violence Cases Under Investigation in East Valley, Arizona

Four cities in the East Valley and one county are currently investigating multiple cases of group teen violence. Since the start of the year, numerous arrests have been made, and authorities are working to determine if the group involved can be classified as a criminal street gang in Arizona.

The Gilbert Police Department, along with other local, county, and state agencies, is leading the investigation into a group known as the “Gilbert Goons.” However, no arrests have been made yet in the beating death of Preston Lord, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the case.

To keep track of all the recent developments, ABC15 has created a timeline. Here is a summary of the key events:

– On October 28th, Preston Lord was beaten at a Halloween party and later died. ABC15 began to learn about the community’s concern regarding the “Gilbert Goons.”

– On November 3rd, Gilbert PD stated that they had no documentation or arrests related to the group.

– On November 14th, the FBI announced its involvement in the Preston Lord investigation and offered a $10,000 reward. The Queen Creek Police Department received numerous tips and identified persons of interest, but no arrests were made.

– On November 16th, Queen Creek police confirmed their awareness of the “Gilbert Goons.”

– On December 6th-12th, East Valley parents gathered at council meetings to support Lord’s family, and community members began speaking out about teen violence.

– On December 14th, Gilbert police acknowledged learning about the term “Gilbert Goons” from social media but stated that they had no reports connecting the named group to any criminal activity.

– On December 15th, ABC15 shared the story of Rick Kuehner and his son, who was assaulted at an In-N-Out restaurant in August 2023. The report highlighted other violent attacks, including one involving brass knuckles.

– On December 28th, Queen Creek police submitted charging recommendations to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office against seven individuals in connection with Preston Lord’s death.

– On January 3rd, Gilbert police announced a review of prior cases involving teens from the last two years.

– On January 8th, Gilbert police revealed that they were investigating eight teen violence cases and had victims referencing the “Gilbert Goons” in police interviews. They also mentioned the ongoing investigation to determine if the group could be classified as a criminal street gang.

– On January 9th and 10th, Gilbert police made four arrests related to an assault at In-N-Out in August 2023. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office also arrested Jacob Pennington for his alleged involvement in a November 2023 assault.

– On January 11th, Mesa Police arrested a 17-year-old for his involvement in a May 2023 attack.

– On January 12th, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Garrett Bagshaw for the November 2023 attack.

– On January 16th, the Mesa Police Department arrested Christopher Fantastic for his alleged involvement in a May 2023 attack.

– On January 18th, Gilbert Police Chief Michael Soelberg held a news conference on teen violence.

– On January 24th, three teens were arrested for a parking garage attack in Gilbert. Kyler Renner was also arrested for drug possession and another assault.

– On January 25th, Gilbert police arrested a 17-year-old in connection with an assault near Higley and Riggs roads.

– On January 30th, Gilbert police arrested Deleon Haynes and a 17-year-old for their involvement in the August

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