Two 18-year-olds who allegedly punched a 68-year-old man off his bicycle and kicked him in the chest during a robbery pleaded not guilty to a string of felonies on Sept. 17, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office.
Joel Augustine Antoine Jr. and Jordan Thorn, both of East Palo Alto, and a juvenile accomplice allegedly approached the man on University Avenue near Sacramento Street in East Palo Alto and punched him to the ground into the lane of traffic on Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. The suspects began going through his pockets, demanding money, according to the DA. The victim rolled on his side to protect himself from traffic danger and the the suspects continued to go through his pockets.
One of the suspects allegedly kicked the victim hard in the chest. The man, who had undergone open-heart surgery 15 years prior, had to have fluid removed from around his heart after the kick and was hospitalized for three days, according to the DA's office.
Neighbors and people in cars called police during the attack, and the suspects fled. But East Palo Alto police caught them shortly afterward. Police found a stolen laptop and distinctive Jordan basketball shoes in one of the suspects' backpacks. The items were taken during a residential burglary on the 1900 block of Cooley Avenue that afternoon, according to the DA's office.
Antoine and Thorn are charged with second-degree robbery; two counts of causing great bodily injury during commission of a felony; commission of a crime (robbery, assault) on a person 60 years old or older; willful commission of a crime causing great bodily injury or death to an elder; and burglary. Both are being held in San Mateo County Jail on $150,000 bail. Trial is set for Nov. 10.