Fifth suspect arrested in May kidnapping case

DNA may link knife used in torture to arrested member of Your Black Muslim Bakery

October 18, 2007

Oakland -- A fifth member of Your Black Muslim Bakery was arrested Wednesday in connection with the May 17 kidnapping and torture of two women -- an incident that occurred just 15 days after the suspect was acquitted in a San Francisco slaying.

Richard Lewis, 23, of San Francisco was taken into custody on a probable-cause arrest warrant Wednesday morning at an Oakland courthouse, where he was to appear on an unrelated misdemeanor case involving possession of a bogus driver's license, authorities said.

Authorities say other defendants' statements implicated Lewis -- also known as Rakeem Bey -- as having had a role in the May 17 incident, and his DNA cannot be ruled out as being present on a knife used in torturing one of the victims.

Lewis refused to talk to investigators, authorities said. He is scheduled to be formally charged and arraigned today in Alameda County Superior Court. He was being held Wednesday without bail.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury acquitted Lewis on May 2 -- 15 days before the Oakland kidnapping and torture incident -- of murder, attempted murder and robbery charges connected to a 2005 shooting in that city's Sunset district.

Authorities said that Lewis was the driver, and Chad Dias, 22, of Richmond was the triggerman in the March 1, 2005, slaying of Christine Chan, 22, of Daly City. Her boyfriend, George Tang, then 22, of San Francisco also was wounded in the shooting. Police said Chan and Tang were shot as Tang tried to sell marijuana to Dias.

Lewis' attorney argued that his client had not known the attack was going to occur. San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Russ Giuntini said Wednesday that Lewis initially confessed, but the confession was deemed inadmissible at trial by the judge.

Dias was tried for murder this summer, but the jury was deadlocked and a mistrial was declared, he is now awaiting retrial.

In the kidnapping and torture case, Yusuf Bey IV, 21, chief executive officer of the bakery organization, and two other bakery members -- Joshua Bey, 20, and Tamon Halfin, 21 -- were arrested Aug. 3 after hundreds of police raided the bakery in the 5800 block of San Pablo Avenue as well as homes associated with bakery members. They were charged with crimes including kidnapping, kidnapping for extortion, kidnapping in commission of a carjacking, torture and false imprisonment.

Yusuf Bey V, 20, was arrested and charged with similar crimes last week; police said the first three defendants had implicated him, but they waited for DNA test results before taking him into custody.

Lewis, who sources said is extremely close to Bey IV, actually was detained by police during the bakery raid Aug. 3. Police did not have enough evidence to charge him at the time, but they did get a DNA sample that later linked him to the knife, authorities said.

The charges stem from an incident in which a mother and daughter were pulled over on Interstate 580 by what they thought was a police car. The women then were seized at gunpoint by masked men and taken to an Avenal Avenue house associated with the bakery, according to court documents. Authorities say Bey IV, Bey V and Lewis were in that car.

Police had been seeking Lewis in connection with the kidnapping and torture since the DNA results came back a few weeks ago. Officers were waiting for him to appear in court in connection with the fraudulent driver's license case Oct. 4, but he did not show up.

Authorities learned that Lewis had another court date in the case Wednesday morning at the Wiley Manuel Court House. Fugitive Unit Officers John Muschi and Roberto Gutierrez had just walked into the court house when they saw Lewis standing in line to go through metal detectors and arrested him.

Authorities said the fraudulent license case resulted from Lewis being stopped outside the bakery earlier this year because he matched the description of a person wanted in another case. He presented a suspected counterfeit driver's license in another person's name, and he was arrested when it was confirmed the license was not his.

Paul Rosynsky contributed to this story.

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