ARIZONA NEWS

Defendant pleads guilty to aggravated assault in youth violence cases in Gilbert, Mesa

May 16, 2024, 11:40 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm

Split panel image of Christopher Fantastic's mugshot on the left and a Mesa Police vehicle on the r...

Christopher Fantastic has pleaded guilty in two East Valley youth violence cases, one in Mesa and one in Gilbert. (Mesa Police Department Photos)

(Mesa Police Department Photos)

PHOENIX – A defendant in two East Valley youth violence cases entered guilty pleas Thursday, according to court records.

Christopher Fantastic pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in attacks in Gilbert and Mesa last year. His sentencing was scheduled for July 1 in both cases.

Fantastic was 18 at the time of his first arrest on Jan. 10, which was for an Aug. 18, 2023, incident in Gilbert. Six days later, while he was still in custody, he was arrested in connection with a May 29, 2023, attack in Mesa.

Prosecutors have implied that Fantastic was a member of the Gilbert Goons, a violent group of youths connected to multiple East Valley assaults.

The Goons were recently designated as a criminal street gang by police, although the designation didn’t affect any previously filed charges or lead to new charges.

What are the details of Christopher Fantastic’s East Valley youth violence cases?

In the Mesa case, Fantastic was among 30-40 youths involved in a fight near Val Vista Drive and Pueblo Avenue, between Broadway Road and Southern Avenue. People scattered and nobody was arrested at the time.

But on Jan. 4 of this year, after news of multiple violent East Valley attacks attributed to the Gilbert Goons came to light, a man reported to police that his stepson had been assaulted during the brawl in Mesa.

Investigators used witness accounts and video evidence to connect Fantastic and an unnamed minor to the attack.

Fantastic was one of multiple people arrested for the Gilbert incident, which occurred in the parking lot of the In-N-Out Burger on Market Street near Williams Field Road and Santan Village Parkway.

Another defendant in the case, Deleon Haynes, recently pleaded guilty.

Meanwhile, Jacob Pennington recently pleaded guilty to a Dec. 2, 2022, assault in the same parking lot.

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Defendant pleads guilty to aggravated assault in youth violence cases in Gilbert, Mesa