Mesa police chief addresses recent surge in teen violence across East Valley

Jan 13, 2024, 4:40 PM

Mesa PD Ken Cost spoke about a recent arrest of a 17-year-old and overall surge in teen violence in...

Mesa PD Ken Cost spoke about a recent arrest of a 17-year-old and overall surge in teen violence in the area. (The Mesa Police Department (Official)/YouTube screenshot)

(The Mesa Police Department (Official)

PHOENIX — The Mesa Police Department on Saturday announced the arrest of a teenager accused of an aggravated assault that occurred last May.

According to police, the victim of the crime notified them of the alleged assault just last week.

Detectives then interviewed the victim and several witnesses and through that investigation the police were able to identify a 17-year-old suspect.

Police arrested the suspect on Thursday. He is being held at the Maricopa County Juvenile Detention Center.

On Saturday, Mesa police released a video of Chief Ken Cost speaking about the case and the recent surge of violence involving teenagers.

“I commend the parents and the victim for coming forward and having the courage to make this report,” Cost said in the video. “It’s folks like that, and it’s situations like that, (who are) going to help us get a handle on this issue.”

Cost said the apprehended teenager “does have ties to other cases in neighboring jurisdiction … This case in Mesa is still ongoing. We still have more to do, and we will not stop until we put everybody in custody that has had anything to do with this case.”

Cost also delivered a message to others engaging in such assaults.

“If you’re going to come into our city and you’re going to perpetuate these acts of violence and you’re going to come in and you’re going to be a bully and you’re going to assault folks, we’re going to investigate very thoroughly, very quickly, and we will take you into custody,” Cost said. “There’s nowhere you’re going to be able to hide, and you’re not going to get away.”

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Mesa police chief addresses recent surge in teen violence across East Valley