ST. THOMAS — An 18-year-old St. Thomas resident is facing serious criminal charges after he led a group of assailants who beat another teen unconscious because of a dispute over sneakers, according to V.I. Police.
Eliah Cornelius was arrested Saturday and charged with third-degree assault and disturbance of the peace.
Unable to post $25,000 bond, he was jailed until his advice-of-rights hearing Monday before Magistrate Judge Paula Norkaitis.
The case began Thursday when a V.I. Police officer found the victim lying unconscious in Roosevelt Park, and he was transported to Schneider Hospital for treatment, according to an affidavit filed by police.
The victim told police he and Cornelius attended Charlotte Amalie High School and work at Moe’s Fresh Market together, and Cornelius expressed interest in a pair of “black Raging Bulls Jordan sneakers” the victim owned, according to the affidavit.
The victim said he could order Cornelius the same pair, and Cornelius paid him $275. The sneakers arrived on April 27, and the following day, Cornelius confronted the victim in Carnival Village, demanding to know “How come you sell me fake shoes?” according to the affidavit.
The victim told police he was confused and didn’t know why Cornelius thought the sneakers were fake, and Cornelius started striking him but other witnesses intervened, according to the affidavit.
Cornelius got away and went to Roosevelt Park, where he was sitting when Cornelius approached again with “10 or less” friends who chased him down and beat him unconscious, according to the affidavit.
Police found Cornelius at work Saturday, and he uttered, “He sell me fake shoes, and he was supposed to be my friend!” while being placed under arrest.
In court Monday, Territorial Public Defender Alexia Furlow asked that bail be lowered to $1,000, but Norkaitis said she would “absolutely not” grant bail lower than 10% of the $25,000, meaning Cornelius must post at least $2,500 to be released to his mother’s custody.
— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email email@example.com.