BY DEVON THORSBY
Daily News Editor
Published October 5, 2010
The man accused of robbing a University student outside of South Quadrangle on Sept. 23 has been reported on and around campus multiple times since his release from jail, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown confirmed yesterday afternoon.
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According to the crime alert released the day of the robbery, a student reported to University Police that a man grabbed him and pulled him a few feet from the sidewalk, demanding money. Once the student gave the man money, the crime alert said he fled the scene on foot. The robbery happened at around 11:45 that morning.
Brown said that Yshelu Johnson was arrested for the crime by University Police later that day, and was arraigned for the crime on Sept. 24. Shortly thereafter, he was released on 10 percent of a $5,000 bond. Brown said he was reportedly seen back on campus within hours of his release.
According to Brown, upon his arrest, Johnson was read trespass for the Ann Arbor campus.
Brown said that people being charged with crimes such as robbery are usually given bond conditions at their arraignment that include a ban from the place where the crime in question occurred. Brown said that in Johnson’s case, the judge made no such provision, but the trespass read to him upon arrest prohibits his return to campus.
Brown added that with each reported sighting of Johnson on campus, University Police either did not reach him in time, or he had moved just off of University property, outside the jurisdiction of DPS.
Johnson is often reported as asking for $20 in order to go to Flint to see his family or his children, according to Brown.
While Brown said that Johnson is not typically reported as touching passersby or appearing belligerent, she said that because he appears to have crossed the line in the case of the unarmed robbery, he is a threat to students on campus.
Brown also said that the danger of panhandlers becoming more aggressive wouldn’t exist if community members did not give them money.
“When people respond to that begging it enables that activity to continue,” Brown said. “There are a lot of resources in this community for people who are without jobs or places to go. They don’t need to be on the streets begging for money.”
Brown added that the most common issue on campus with those asking for money occurs when they come into one of the University buildings and end up asleep or suspects of larceny.
Annarbor.com reported that Johnson was involved in 98 City of Ann Arbor police reports between January 2001 and August 2007, including reports of aggressive panhandling, narcotics possession and assault and battery.
Johnson has also been reported in his vehicle asking for money from people walking by. Brown said the vehicle is most often described as a minivan, though the make and year vary in witness reports.
Johnson will appear in Washtenaw County Court for his preliminary examination on the charges of unarmed robbery this afternoon.
The crime alert described the attacker as a dark-skinned male in his 30s, about six feet tall, with a medium build. DPS requested in the Annarbor.com article to be contacted if Johnson is seen on campus.