Bey IV’s rap sheet spans range of criminal charges
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By Josh Richman, Chauncey Bailey Project
By the time police took Yusuf Ali Bey IV into custody Aug. 3, the family scion and Your Black Muslim Bakery chief executive had been charged in various crimes spanning two years and four Bay area counties.
Bey IV, 21, had arrests in connection with offenses ranging from traffic violations to assault with a deadly weapon; in several instances, he was charged with crimes committed while out on bail from other arrests, court and police records indicate.
All of the cases are still pending. In a jailhouse interview, however, Bey IV downplayed the seriousness of the incidents.
“All of it’s minor — if you look into it, it’s only not minor because I’m involved in it,” he said Wednesday. “Anyone can see that.”
The string of crimes appears to have started May 17, 2005, when Bey IV was cited by the California Highway Patrol, accusing him of speeding, driving with a suspended license and failure to produce proof of insurance near Lafayette; a misdemeanor complaint on the license charge was filed June 21, 2005.
He repeatedly failed to appear for court dates on this case through 2007. Each time he was absent, a bench warrant would be issued and his bail bond — ranging at various times in amounts from $3,000 to $5,000 — would be ordered forfeited. Each time when he finally showed up, those warrants would be recalled and bail reinstated. This case, now put on hold to trail more serious cases, remains unresolved.
It’s hard to dispute Bey IV’s description of such a case as “minor,” but police and court records show that was only the start: -On June 25, 2005, police reports state that Bey IV got into an argument with a manager at the Century 25 Theaters in Union City over his behavior there that night and the night before; he refused to leave. Reports say a female police officer arrived and ordered Bey IV to put away a toothpick with which he was gesticulating; Bey IV told her to send a man to talk to him. Reports say he continued to refuse to comply with her orders, so she arrested him.Charged with refusing to comply with a police officer’s orders July 19, 2005 and released on bail, he repeatedly missed court dates in this case as well; this case also now trails his more serious cases.
— On Nov. 15, 2005 — 20 days after his elder brother, Antar, the bakery’s CEO, was killed in an apparent attempted carjacking — Bey IV, according to police reports, used bogus ID and financial data to buy a 2002 Mercedes CL 500 for $55,000 from a Vallejo used car dealer; he later was charged with grand theft, using a driver’s license with someone else’s name and filing false financial statements.
He pleaded no contest in this case — not admitting guilt, but acknowledging the evidence against him was enough to win a conviction — and has been sentenced to eight months in jail. A Solano County judge, however, let him remain free until his trial on a more serious case that occurred while this one was pending.
— On Nov. 23, 2005, a group of men wearing suits went on a vandalism spree through two liquor stores about 12 blocks apart in West Oakland. The small mob, smashing bottles and tearing down merchandise displays, demanded that the stores stop selling liquor to African Americans. Caught on one of the stores’ surveillance cameras, the rampage made nationalheadlines.
Identified by police from the tape, Bey IV turned himself in six days after the spree and was released on bail. Nine men eventually would be charged in this case; charges against two later were dropped for lack of evidence and two more struck plea bargains, leaving five — including Bey IV — still facing charges today.
— On April 28, 2006, police said Bey IV tried to use his car to run down bouncers outside the New Century strip club on Larkin Street in San Francisco; he’d been thrown out of the club moments earlier for bad behavior. He was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Bey IV missed a July 12, 2007, court appearance for a pretrial hearing in this case, and it was the $375,000 bench warrant issued that day on which he was initially arrested in the Aug. 3 raid of Your Black Muslim Bakery.
Bey IV contended Wednesday that he hadn’t known he was supposed to appear July 12, and went to court twice after that trying to calendar a new date and clear the warrant — including one visit just two days before the raid. In fact, he said, he was expecting to appear in San Francisco Superior Court on Aug. 3, but was arrested early that morning in the raid, instead.
— On June 7, 2006, police said Bey IV used a bogus driver’s license with the name Yasir Human — but his real Social Security number — to buy a single-family home at 2514 61st Ave. in Oakland, secured by two deeds of trust through the Cit Group/Consumer Finance Inc.: one for $440,000, the other for $110,000. By October 2006, those loans were in default and an Alameda County District Attorney’s inspector was called in; the house eventually would go into foreclosure and be sold at auction.
Investigators said they suspect Bey IV’s motive was to get at the house’s equity, and prosecutors charged him Aug. 7, 2007 — four days after he was taken into custody during the bakery raid — with 12 felony counts: four counts of forgery; three counts of attempting to file a false or forged instrument; two counts of grand theft; and one count each of obtaining money, labor or property by false pretenses, possession of a forged driver’s license and identity theft.
— One day after buying that home, Bey IV and Dyamen Namer Williams saw their names added to a fraud case filed earlier in the year against Ajuwon Muhammad; both Williams and Muhammad are among Bey IV’s co-defendants in the liquor-store vandalism case.
The trio is accused of unlawfully taking a 2004 Infiniti G35 and a 2002 Jaguar S Type from Platinum Motor Group in San Bruno; charges related to another car, a 2001 Pontiac Firebird, are added June 20. Still other, similar charges involve Williams and Muhammad but not Bey. Bey used the bogus name Yasir Human in this case, court records say.
— Bey IV was cited on suspicion of misdemeanor shoplifting Jan. 9, 2007, after workers at a Walgreens on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland saw him stealing condoms, according to court records. A juvenile relative of Bey IV’s also was seen shoplifting, but wasn’t cited. However, Bey’s younger brother, Yusuf Ali Bey V — then a day shy of his 20th birthday — was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed TEC-9 semiautomatic assault pistol.
Court records say Bey IV told police that day, “We have the best lawyers, that’s why I’m not in jail.”
— And then, on May 17, 2007, at least five men kidnapped two women at gunpoint, taking them to a vacant East Oakland house owned by Bey IV’s brother-in-law. Police reports say one of the women was beaten and threatened with torture and murder as the masked men — whom they couldn’t identify — demanded to know where to find her money and that of an acquaintance.
A police officer happened by and the suspects fled on foot, leaving behind cars and other evidence that led to the warrant for Joshua Bey’s arrest in the Aug. 3 raid. Later Bey IV, Bey V, Tamon Halfin and Richard Lewis were charged in the case.
Those reports also say Bey IV initially said he’d directed Joshua Bey and Halfin to track the woman and get money from her; he allegedly said he told them the money was for the bakery, when in fact it was to repay a personal debt.
“Bey IV initially denied being present for the kidnapping. … He stated he was at the bakery for the whole night,” the reports say. “Once confronted with the cell (phone) site information Bey IV changed his story and stated that he had gone to Foothill Square to make sure Joshua Bey understood what he was supposed to do.”
Then, on Aug. 5, Bey IV “admitted to driving the Ford Crown Victoria during the kidnapping,” the reports say. “At one point Bey IV stated when the victim was taken out of her car she may have seen his face.”
But Bey IV on Wednesday denied he’d had anything to do with the kidnapping and torture.
He and other defendants in the kidnapping and torture case have been charged with crimes including kidnapping for extortion, which is punishable by mandatory life in prison without possibility of parole. Bey IV remains in Santa Rita county jail in Dublin; bail has been denied.