Two Concord teens arrested for holding Bhutanese refugees at knife point
Tyler Burley, 19
Brett Reno, 19
Two Concord teens with prior arrest records are due in court this morning after attempting earlier this month to rob four Bhutanese refugees at knife point, the police announced this morning.
The men, Tyler Burley and Brett Reno, both 19, were arrested late Friday, Lt. Timothy O’Malley said in a press release. They’re accused of threatening the group outside an East Side Drive apartment complex shortly after midnight on Oct. 13. Burley and Reno share an apartment at the address, as do some of the victims, O’Malley said.
The victims, who the police have not identified, were taking out their trash when Burley and Reno allegedly stopped them in the parking lot and said, “Give us $20 or we will kill you guys.” Burley, the taller of the two, brandished a knife, the victims told the police. When they refused to hand over any cash, one of the two men struck one of them in the face with his hand, O’Malley said. Burley subsequently punched another victim in the mouth, causing a severe laceration.
The victims reportedly fled the scene, running to one of their cars and driving to a friend’s house, where they phoned 911.
The police said the victims believe they were targeted because of their national origin and the suspects’ assumption that they would not report the robbery. “The suspects allegedly told the victims that they knew they were Nepali and that they wouldn’t report the crime,” O’Malley said. O’Malley said the victims are of Bhutanese heritage but appear to have spent time in Nepal before arriving in the United States.
Burley and Reno have each had brushes with the law. Burley was arrested in late 2011 for stabbing a 24-year-old man in his chest after he pepper-sprayed Burley and an acquaintance. He was later indicted on misdemeanor counts of simple assault and resisting arrest.
Reno was detained in April and charged with simple assault for having attacked a man who was with his son on East Side Drive. Reno appeared intoxicated, the police said at the time. The incident came less than a year after Reno was charged with second-degree assault, simple assault, criminal mischief and criminal threatening for attacking a man after he tried to intervene in argument between Reno and the man’s girlfriend. Reno allegedly slashed the girlfriend with a knife in the incident, according to witness accounts, the police said.
For the incident this month, Burley and Reno have each been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and simple assault. Burley has also been charged with armed robbery and criminal mischief, and Reno with criminal liability. Both refused bail, O’Malley said, and are being held at the Merrimack County jail.
They are scheduled for an arraignment at Concord’s district court later this morning.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anyone with information can call the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100.
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBlackman.)
This story has been updated to reflect the correct date of the alleged attempted robbery.