JIM SHARPE

Ugh, I even have to make room in my heart for the Gilbert Goons moms

Jan 11, 2024, 4:00 PM

With multiple arrests made in connection with violent attacks on teens in the southeast Valley — and one suspect allegedly admitting he has ties to the notorious Gilbert Goons gang — a lot of moms are breathing a sigh of relief that their kids are safer.

At the same time, there are other moms in the Gilbert area who will do just about anything to keep their kids safe — from punishment the justice system may have in store for them.

I say that we can, and probably should, have sympathy for both sets of moms.

Even the mom of that Gilbert Goons-associated suspect, who told our TV partners at ABC15 Arizona that she doesn’t even believe that the Gilbert Goons exist. 

Alisha Tidwell is the mother of 20-year-old Jacob Pennington, the man arrested by Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies for a November attack in the desert near San Tan Valley. 

According to a probable cause statement, Pennington said in a post-arrest interview that he’s associated with the Gilbert Goons.

Pennington is accused of not only hitting the 16-year-old victim in that assault — but also holding the victim down while others attacked him.

Jacob’s mom told ABC15 Arizona that there’s more to this story: that Jacob turned around as a young woman was being hit — and he just reacted.

But Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told KTAR’s Mike Broomhead that he doesn’t buy that explanation because of the multiple assailants that were captured on video attacking the victim.

“It’s uncalled for,” he said.

In a separate case, 18-year old Christopher Fantastic, 18-year-old Aris Arredondo and two minors were arrested by Gilbert police in connection with an August assault in that town. 

Court records show that one of those minors was also charged in a violent assault on a 14-year-old back in May. And police say that minor has been involved in multiple incidents — shootings and crimes of violence — that have been escalating in frequency and severity.

Thank God I’m not the parent of any of those young men. And thank God I’m not the parent of a victim.

But before I ask God to — or I decide to verbally — condemn the suspect’s parents, I have to remember that bad kids can come from good homes; I always want to believe my kid’s side of a story; and even delusional moms deserve my sympathy. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Jim Sharpe

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Ugh, I even have to make room in my heart for the Gilbert Goons moms