NEW BRITAIN - A 15-year-old wounded in a police shooting that killed a man last month has been charged as an adult in an East Hartford robbery, court officials said Wednesday.
The teen was in the front seat of a Toyota Paseo driven by aspiring rapper Zoe Dowdell, with 18-year-old Noah Young in the back seat, when New Britain police fired on the car as it was allegedly being driven toward officers on the night of Dec. 14.
Dowdell was killed, the 15-year-old was wounded and Young was grazed by a bullet.
The car was believed to have been used in a string of violent armed robberies in New Britain and elsewhere when city officers went looking for it that night. A gun was found in the car after the shooting, state police said.
The teen was carrying heroin and bullets in his pockets and Young was carrying three bundles of heroin.
The 15-year-old was charged as a juvenile with carrying weapons in a motor vehicle, possession of a pistol without a permit and possession of narcotics. Young was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and risk of injury to a child. He has been held on $1 million bond since his arrest.
“I’m not sure how he could be charged with risk of injury,” Young’s public defender, Michael Isko, said in felony court of New Britain Superior Court Wednesday. “$1 million bond seems excessive.”
One of the codefendants posted a Snapchat social media video of the three in the car with a gun, said Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Gailor, representing the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office in arguing against lowering Young’s bond. “We have already arrested the codefendant on robbery charges.”
More robbery arrests are likely, said Gailor, who is prosecuting the case.
The 15-year-old has been charged in connection with an East Hartford robbery and will be prosecuted as an adult, Gailor said after the court appearance. Gailor said he would not provide any more information until the 15-year-old has appeared in felony court of Hartford Superior Court as an adult.
New Britain Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander denied Isko’s bid to have Young’s bond lowered, citing the possibility that he could also be facing robbery charges.
The case is troubling and confusing, said Jay Young, the owner of the Street Tatts tattoo shop in Hartford. He is not related to Noah Young.
“He was a cool kid, a good kid as far as I know,” Jay Young said of Dowdell, who rapped as Gangstalicious. “He was a really great rapper and one of the funniest kids you ever met.”
Jay Young met Dowdell in Hartford as part of a group of youths who hung out in the same neighborhood as the tattoo shop. He happened to be in New Britain Superior Court as Noah Young was appearing Wednesday.
He doesn’t know Noah Young, he said. But he was surprised that Dowdell had been involved in robberies.
“I’ve never known him or heard of him being involved in stuff like that,” Jay Young said. “The kids he was hanging with, though, they were the ones into that activity. He was good rapper. I was surprised that happened. Everyone thought he was one of the ones who’d make it (as a rap star).”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.