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Brooklyn Dodgers fan from Jamaica Plain sentenced to five years on his third bank-robbery conviction

Shabazz in Dodgers cap and with platinum-blond hair

Surveillance photos via FBI.

A Jamaica Plain man who wore a Brooklyn Dodgers cap over his platinum-blond hair was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison last week for robbing a TD Bank branch on Mass. Ave. in Harvard Square on May 2, 2022.

Jalonni Shabazz, 42, had pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery in August.

Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 78 months, noting that in addition to earlier convictions for bank robbery, assault and battery, witness intimidation, making threats and uttering, Shabazz robbed the Harvard Square bank after he had run away from a halfway house where he was living while on parole for one of the earlier bank robberies.

[H]is actions of absconding from [the halfway house] and from violating his terms of supervised release, and committed a new bank robbery while under that criminal justice system demonstrate a complete lack of working collaboratively with U.S. Probation or abiding by his conditions of supervised release.

His attorney, however, "hesitantly" asked for a sentence of no more than 42 months, saying Shabazz doesn't need more prison time but time in a facility that could treat him for the mental illness he has suffered since being born to a crack-addicted mother who would routinely beat him and with two half-brothers who sexually abused him as a four-year-old.

Even with that background, "Mr. Shabazz is courteous, personable and well-spoken," his lawyer said. "Meeting him, it is hard to imagine the frightening circumstances of his upbringing."

The robbery, he said, was not to raise money to feed a drug habit but because "was suffering a manic episode and relapse" at the time, an episode for which he tried to get help at Boston Medical Center but was turned away at the emergency room because he was so agitated.

And even the way he conducted the robbery was proof he is not an angry man who should simply be locked up, he continued:

It would be difficult to imagine a bank robbery that involved a lesser degree of force and still satisfied the elements to sustain a conviction. As in his last conviction, defendant passed a note. All the surveillance videos in discovery show defendant did nothing to intimidate or excite fear. Masked during COVID, he went to the deposit slip table, presumably to write the note. On his way to the teller, defendant bumped into a large concrete support pillar in the center of the lobby. He reached the counter and quietly passed the teller a note, returned a GPS pack, took the remaining money and walked from the counter. Defendant's partially-covered face showed no signs of stress or aggravation. All the several video surveillance files showed no threatening or abnormal behavior.

After the robbery, Mr. Shabazz learned from his ex-wife on about May 26 2022 that US Marshals were searching for him. Shabazz called USMS and received a call back from USDM Gerrard Mendez. Shabazz offered to report to the Marshals and USDM Mendez told him he had to be picked up. Shabazz gave the location (811 Mass Ave) and USMS came and arrested him.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors described the robbery, which netted Shabazz $2,200:

He entered the bank, walked up to the victim teller's counter, and handed her a note which read as follows: “All of the money - No Dye packs - or alarms.” The victim teller, who pretended to be unable to read the note, asked the defendant if he would like to make a deposit and he told the victim teller “this is a robbery honey.” The victim teller complied with the defendant's demands and proceeded to hand over U.S. currency bills containing a GPS tracker. The defendant manipulated the cash and placed the GPS tracker back onto the teller's counter and told the victim teller “Honey, I told you no bait money” and demanded more money. The victim teller complied with his demand and handed the defendant another stack of money from her cash drawer. The defendant robbed the bank of $2,200 in cash and then fled on foot in the direction of Plympton Street.

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Magoo cautions all Uhubbers not to confuse the logo on Evil-doers hat with the Red Sox which by the by, Magoo thinks are a snooze fest and yawny yawn time. Magoo.

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"was suffering a manic episode and relapse" at the time, an episode for which he tried to get help at Boston Medical Center but was turned away at the emergency room because he was so agitated.

Even when someone knows they're suffering a relapse and tries to get help, they can't.

Voting closed 2

Doesn't make it okay to go rob a bank. Lots of people are bipolar and never commit crimes. Plus, he is already being given free room and board. The only way he'd have a relapse would be if he didn't take his medication. So he should take it.

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1. There's a shortage of psychiatrists
2. Some people can't afford medication
3. Sometimes meds stop working or dosages need adjusting, so even people taking their meds can have relapses
4. Drug shortages are an increasing problem - I know plenty of people who've had gaps in their meds (psych and other) through no fault of their own

He knew he was having a problem and tried to get help. The ER chased him away because he was agitated (i.e., showing symptoms of his bipolar).

Voting closed 0

You clearly know very little about this if you think "taking medication" is the answer - you have to have that prescribed and monitored and paid for, and that is pretty fucking hard to achieve right now.

Voting closed 1

There is an overall shortage of psych providers who can do medication management, and the vast majority of those who can have been pulled into full-time work with the opioid crisis.

Not that the opioid crisis isn't a real issue deserving of as much effort as can be deployed, but somewhere along the line somebody didn't think about the consequences of stripping other mental health services of needed personnel. Behavioral health cannot be entirely shunted off off to non-physician caregivers.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul has consequences.

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