Fayette County

6 arrested in crimes against Hispanics

Lexington police say a series of crimes against Hispanics has led to six arrests, and there could be more.

Lexington police Sgt. Pete Ford said police reviewed several similar robberies from February to September in largely Hispanic areas such as Winburn, Hollow Creek and Versailles Road.

Most of the personal crimes were home invasions or occurred in parking lots, Ford said. He said police have looked at about 20 robberies, but they may not all be related.

Ford said the suspects in the crimes may see Hispanics as easy targets because of a language barrier that makes them less likely to report a crime to police and because many Hispanic people carry cash.

"It doesn't sound like a hate crime," Ford said.

But, he said, that's something he's still looking into.

Lexington police and the city's Community Law Enforcement Action Response Program collaborated in the investigation. Ford said after much follow-up "everything just started falling like dominoes."

The six people arrested Friday were charged in robberies on Sept. 3, Ford said. Robberies occurred that day on Ward Drive and on Gerald Drive. The Gerald Drive robbery included a sexual assault.

No one received any life-threatening injuries, and the suspects took cash and other personal items from the victims, Ford said.

Greg B. Coleman, 36, was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree robbery.

Ronald E. Hill, 21, was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree rape, criminal mischief, being a felon in possession of a handgun, fleeing and evading police, and two counts of first-degree robbery.

Salmaine D. Edwards, 22, was charged with first-degree robbery.

Martae L. Shanks, 22, was charged with first-degree robbery, being a felon in possession of a handgun, and fleeing and evading police.

Mika D. Stigall, 21, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

And Jayme C. Baxter, 25, was charged with possession of cocaine and disorderly conduct.

Ford said Stigall and Baxter were with Coleman when he was arrested, but police are investigating whether they were involved in the robberies.

He said charges could be filed in the other robberies of Hispanics.

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