More Teens Arrested With Alleged ‘Gilbert Goons’ Connection

February 4, 2024

By Corinne Murdock |

Police arrested several more individuals this week with alleged connections to the series of attacks by a violent group of youths known as the “Gilbert Goons.”

On Tuesday, Gilbert Police arrested Deleon Haynes, 19, and a 17-year-old minor in relation to an alleged assault and robbery from last August. Then on Wednesday, Gilbert Police arrested William Owen Hines, 18, along with a 17-year-old minor in relation to an assault that occurred in December 2022. Police also arrested Jacob Pennington, 20, who was also arrested earlier this month for an assault last November. 

Pennington admitted his involvement with the violent group of youths in a statement to police; he also claimed that the name “Gilbert Goons” originated with a Snapchat group chat. 

Gilbert Police are working with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the Chandler, Mesa, and Queen Creek police departments to arrest the teen violence perpetrators. 

The law enforcement agencies are also coordinating with the Arizona Gang & Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission to determine whether the Gilbert Goons may be classified as a criminal street gang.

Others arrested and named by police in relation to this series of teen violence cases: Kyler Renner, 18; Gage Garrison, 19; Tyler Strocchia, 22; Christopher Fantastic, 18; Aris Arredondo, 18; Garrett Bagshaw, 18; and Jack Woods, 17. Several unnamed minors, all aged either 16 or 17, have also been arrested. Woods was identified after prosecutors charged him as an adult. 

Gilbert Police post regular updates to a dedicated page on their investigations into teen violence in Gilbert with suspected connections to the Gilbert Goons. Officials say they’ve made 35 teen violence-related arrests, with 22 having occurred this past month. Gilbert currently has five active cases into teen violence.

Efforts to string together the teen violence cases and discern their relationship to the Gilbert Goons began shortly after the death of 16-year-old Preston Lord at a Halloween house party last October in Queen Creek. Lord was assaulted by a group of teens and died as a result of his injuries. 

Gilbert’s efforts are independent and separate from Queen Creek Police’s investigation into Lord’s death.

During a press conference last week, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell revealed that she was receiving daily briefings on Lord’s case and that their office was reviewing thousands of pieces of evidence, including over 600 videos. Law enforcement issued their submittal of Lord’s case for charges in late December. 

In response to criticisms of the time it’s taken to press charges, Mitchell pointed to statutory requirements as the cause of the slowness in evidence-gathering efforts. She said that law enforcement can’t pull videos or pictures from social media, or receive them for direct submission, for evidence.

“I have to have evidence that it is what I say it is,” said Mitchell. “In order to make that admissible — that video or that picture, for example — I have to be able to put somebody on the stand to say, ‘I either took this video and this is the video I took,’ or I have to put somebody on that says, ‘I reviewed the video, I saw what happened, the video is an accurate reflection of what happened.’” 

Mitchell confirmed that their office is looking into classifying the Gilbert Goons as a criminal street gang. 

Community members and social media sleuths have cited those types of videos and pictures to claim that more suspected “Goons” have yet to be arrested and charged. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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