HS basketball players charged in robbery

October 22, 2008 4:18:45 PM PDT
Two teenagers who play basketball at Bloom Township High School have been charged with robbing a man and woman.So far, they have not been suspended from the school's team. Some students at the school wonder why.

Chicago Heights police confirmed Wednesday that two Bloom high school students charged with robbery are now free on bond.

Both are on the basketball team. And that has some asking, why are they still on the team, especially if the athletes' code of conduct requires them to stay out of trouble? The school district has declined to answer that question or any others Wednesday. Their official response is "no comment."

Chicago Heights police say 18-year-old Rajsaun Thompson and 17-year-old Brian Conway were part of a group driving near a bank on October 13. It was about 1:30 in the morning when police say the teens spotted a man and woman who were making a deposit at the ATM.

"As they were leaving the ATM machine, they were approached by two subjects who attempted to rob them. One of them produced a gun," said Detective Joe Bruni, Chicago Heights Police Dept.

Police say Conway flashed a gun; a shot was fired. They say Conway demanded the 32-year-old man's wallet; at the same time, according to police, Thompson and an unidentified third suspect forced the 35-year-old woman to strip.

"She claims she was made to strip because they were looking for money and they didn't believe she didn't have any money," Bruni said. "They made her strip and brought her back to the area of the bank and were apparently attempting to sexually assault her, but that never happened."

Police say the two students, who both attend Bloom High in Chicago Heights, confessed to the crime. Police say Conway talked about what happened and that Thompson gave a written statement.

And students say one has already commented about jail time.

"He didn't want people to write him or call him while he was in because it would make it seem longer and it would be harder," said Stephany Baxter, Bloom junior.

Other students are questioning why the suspects are still on the basketball team.

"I don't think they should still be playing. It doesn't seem right," said Cheyenne Crete, Bloom junior.

Police also confirmed Wednesday that Conway is the son of Brandon Cole. Cole once played at Bloom High and DePaul University.

The suspects are out on bond. They are scheduled to be back in court Friday for a preliminary hearing.


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