New details have emerged in the two months that have passed since the assault and robbery of an MTHS junior in a school restroom on Dec. 4.
According to the Mountlake Terrace Police Department (MTPD), two suspects, senior Darian Sharpe – who was identified, charged and expelled immediately following the incident – and junior Jordan Brown conspired to rob Jose Bernabe in the men’s restroom near the men’s locker room.
Sharpe and Brown no longer attend MTHS. Bernabe returned after winter break.
Brown was charged with one count of robbery in the first degree last month, according to MTPD detective Daniel MacKenzie. Sharpe was charged with one count of robbery in the first degree and one count of assault in the second degree in December, as detailed in arrest records.
Though it was originally reported that Sharpe had acted alone in the assault and robbery, Brown had been a suspect, according to MacKenzie.
Related Story: Student assaulted, robbed in restroom
“We kind of knew early on that he was involved, but we didn’t have a lot of evidence pointing to that,” MacKenzie said. “Eventually we re-contacted (Brown) and he decided that at that point he wanted to tell us the truth about his involvement.”
“There were some rumors going around that Jose at any given point would have large amounts of money,” MacKenzie said.
According to MacKenzie, it is believed that Bernabe was in the restroom with a group of friends. Sharpe and Brown then entered the restroom and proceeded to rob him.
Bernabe’s friends then exited the restroom to get help. When they returned, the assault and robbery had already transpired and Bernabe was found on the floor unconscious.
“One of the suspects grabbed Jose, kind of had him in a headlock from behind and the other one then checked his pockets,” MacKenzie said. “It is unclear whether the second person punched Jose and then he fell down or if the person who was holding him pushed him. That’s something that we really haven’t been able to clarify at this point.”
According to Principal Greg Schwab, Bernabe sustained a broken jaw, at least one knocked out tooth, and a concussion. He received stitches and underwent surgery to repair his broken jaw.
Schwab stated that after the assault and robbery, Sharpe and Brown were seen on school security camera footage exiting the building through the main entrance. Sharpe and Brown were seen exchanging an item at the end of the walkway between the drop-off circle and the canopy over the school’s main entrance.
According to MacKenzie, authorities and school officials initially believed the item exchanged was a weapon, but now say that it was the money taken from Bernabe. MacKenzie said that Bernabe was robbed of a total of $9.
After the exchange, MacKenzie says Sharpe then left the campus and was apprehended by police shortly after, while Brown turned around and walked back into the school. According to several students, Brown continued to attend classes that day.
Meanwhile, Bernabe was rushed to Swedish Hospital in Edmonds and later transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital. He was released the next day.