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Did He Have Help?


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Did He Have Help?

by Margo Williams, 365Gay.com Boston Bureau

February 9, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(New Bedford, Massachusetts) Investigators Thursday said that a teen who attacked three people in a New Bedford gay bar and later killed a police officer and a woman before turning the gun on himself may have been a member of a white supremist group.

Police in three states are putting together of clear picture of the violent spree that began last Thursday when Jacob Robida took a hatchet to one man and injured two others at Puzzles bar in New Bedford.

After leaving the bar he went to his mother's home took her car and headed south.

He stopped at Burlington County, N.J., Hospital several hours later for treatment of the head laceration he received when he was struck on the head with a pool cue during the attack during the attacks in Puzzles.

He gave a fake name and told an emergency room nurse that he was homeless. The nurse called local police after she saw a picture of Robida on the local news.

Once his head was bandaged he continued to drive south, arriving at the Charleston, West Virginia apartment of 33-year-old Jennifer Rena Bailey, a woman with whom he had once lived and has been described as a one-time girlfriend.

Police say that Bailey later called a friend to say that he had been there but she did not want him to stay in the apartment because she had seen news reports he was wanted.

It is not known where he slept that night, but the following day Bailey dropped her daughter off at her mother's home saying she would return in a few hours.

Whether Bailey went willingly with Robida or was forced is not yet clear. But before they left on the final leg of Robida's flight from justice he robbed Bailey's father's home, taking a number of firearms.

From Charleston Robida, with Bailey in the car, headed west to Arkansas.

In Gassville, Ark., police officer Jim Sell recognized the car and stopped it. When he confronted Robida the teen shot the officer and then sped off.

Following a 20 mile chase that ended in downtown Norfolk Robida turned the gun on Bailey and then himself.

The rural northern Arkansas area is home to at least two white supremist groups police say. Investigators are questioning members of those groups to seek if there was a connection to Robida.

Something brought him to the area and police say once they find out exactly what that was they will have a clearer idea what was behind the whole affair.

Robida did not take a meandering course while traveling from Massachusetts to Arkansas, a police source told the Associated Press. "He was driving like he knew where he was going," the source said.

If he were a member of one of the groups police want to know if other attacks on gays are planned.

Forensics experts in Massachusetts are continuing to examine the hard drive from Robida's computer.

New Bedford Mayor Mayor Scott W. Lang told The Standard-Times that he believes Jacob Robida was looking for attention and would likely have told someone about his plan to attack people at Puzzles.

"I can't believe he kept secret that he was thinking of going into Puzzles," he told the paper. Lang also had a warning to anyone who may have helped Robida flee the area.

"I don't want people to think it's cool to hang out with a psychopath and to think there are no consequences to that," Lang told the Standard-Times.

©365Gay.com 2006


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