Police: Wilkes-Barre man beaten over ‘misunderstanding of a Muslim greeting’

By Ed Lewis - [email protected] | August 24th, 2015 4:05 pm - updated: 4:08 pm.

WILKES-BARRE — A state parolee was arraigned Monday on charges he took part in a beating of another man due to a misunderstanding over a “Muslim greeting.”

City police allege Jahleel Khiry Owens, 23, was one of three men who assaulted Gerry Vorn outside Las Delicias Deli at Beaumont and North Washington streets on Aug. 13.

Vorn claimed he was “beaten due to a misunderstanding of a Muslim greeting, which occurred at a park just prior to this incident,” according to an arrest affidavit police filed. The affidavit did not explain further, and the arresting officer could not be reached for comment Monday.

Vorn remained hospitalized for more than seven days due to the severity of his injuries, police said.

Police said Vorn entered the deli to place a food order when Jahleel Owens, his brother Khalil Owens, 22, and Antonio Cruz, 24, approached him from behind and dragged him outside, according to the criminal complaint.

Vorn was stomped on the head and body several times and kicked by the Owens brothers and Cruz, the complaint says.

Police said Vorn sustained broken ribs, a broken collar bone, head lacerations and bruises.

Witnesses allegedly identified Jahleel Owens, Khalil Owens and Cruz as the men who assaulted Vorn before they drove away in a 2006 Mercury.

Police said the three men were known to congregate with each other.

Jahleel Owens was detained by state parole agents in Scranton and transferred to police custody on Monday. He was arraigned by District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Jahleel Owens was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

Court records say Jahleel Owens was recently paroled from state prison on a two-to-four-year state prison sentence imposed by Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley on July 31, 2014.

Gartley sentenced Owens on several drug trafficking offenses in connection to arrests by Nanticoke police in December 2013 and Kingston police in January 2014, court records say.

Khalil Owens and Cruz are charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment in connection to their alleged role. They remained at large Monday afternoon.

Court records say Khalil Owens, formerly of Philadelphia, is free on $20,000 bail on drug trafficking charges filed by Hanover Township police when crack cocaine and paraphernalia were allegedly found inside an apartment on Lee Park Avenue, Hanover Township, on April 16.

Jahleel Khiry Owens arrives at a Wilkes-Barre district judge’s office Monday afternoon where he was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_TTL082515owens2.jpgJahleel Khiry Owens arrives at a Wilkes-Barre district judge’s office Monday afternoon where he was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Reach Ed Lewis at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TLEdLewis


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