Armed Invaders Assault, Rob Party Guests

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A group of males, some armed with handguns, forced their way into a house party on Strathavon Road and later assaulted two students who fled March 23. 

Senior Matt Reesing, who attended the party, described it as a typical Shaker party attended mostly by Shaker senior boys. Reesing saw several males beginning to push their way through the front door as the host was trying to push them back. Other students at the party unsuccessfully tried to help the host.

Reesing said he was the first to be punched. The next thing he remembers is being outside of the house. “I felt shocked. It seemed like something that doesn’t happen to me. You always think it happens to someone else,” he said.

Ressing called his mom, Sherri Reesing, right after it happened.  On the phone, he was “a little confused” said his mom.

“My first reaction was confusion. I didn’t know exactly what happened,” his mom said. “At first I thought he had probably gotten into a fight, but when he came home, he explained to me what had happened.”

Reesing’s mom explained that she was “shocked and angry that this could happen at a high school party in Shaker.”

Junior Rodney McFall was at the party for less than an hour before the males showed up. According to McFall, after Reesing was hit, everyone started running. In the commotion, McFall lost track of his friends and went back in to the house hoping to find them. He heard someone shout “gun” and “police,” then ran out of the house.

“I felt pretty scared,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on, I could have gotten arrested. I could have gotten beat up myself.”

Both McFall and Reesing said they did not see guns at the party.

According to the Shaker Heights Police incident report, two other students who left the Strathavon party on foot were assaulted by two of the intruders on Riedham Road. The two students told the police they had been “approached by two black males carrying handguns [who] demanded money.” One student’s wallet and cell phone, a Droid X, were taken.

Both of the students assaulted on Riedham Road suffered injuries and neither knew their assailants. To date, no arrests have been made. The assaulted students declined to comment, citing the current investigation.

The assault was classified as an aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in addition to felonious assault.

Reesing found out about the other assaults two days later. He and his mother discussed the importance of being careful and aware of what is going on at parties and large gatherings. In addition, Reesing’s mom said his decision to remove himself from the situation and a not engage further was the right thing to do. She also said that she would not limit her son’s social life because of the event.

“I am thankful that nothing worse happened, especially in light of the fact that someone had a gun,” Sherri Reesing said. “I feel terrible about what happened to the two boys who were held up at gunpoint. But I am not going to tell Matt that he can’t go to a friend’s house.”

A version of this article appeared in print on 24 April 2012, on page 3 of The Shakerite

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