Volume 92, Issue 27

Thursday, October 22, 1998

mark's going to jail


Two more assault arrests made

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

While two more people were charged in relation to the assault Sept. 19 at the Wave, much of the attention surrounding this case has been about the possible connection these four individuals have to the so-called "preppy gang."

Friday, London Police laid their last set of charges in connection to the assault at the Wave. Brothers Hosam Halbouni, 19 and Wosam Halbouni, 21, were both charged with assault, said Sgt. John O'Flaherty of the London police.

Charges were laid earlier last week against Hany and Hicham Lebada to bring the total number of arrests up to four.

Although the four accused individuals have only been charged with the incident that occurred at the Wave on Sept. 19, police still insist there is a connection between these arrests and the "preppy gang" which has been linked to a number of assaults around London.

"For all intensive purposes they are members of the preppy gang," O'Flaherty said.

Murray Neilson, lawyer for the Lebada brothers, said he has not received evidence which pertains to the "preppy gang." He added the police report, which suggests the names of his clients came up during the Richmond Row investigation, is incidental. "It doesn't mean that they are any part of a gang."

Neilson said his clients will be pleading not guilty. He added his clients are particularly upset about the journalistic speculation that they are part of this "preppy gang."

Neilson said his clients emphatically deny the charges and are anxious to tell their story. "The case appears to boil down to a case of credibility."

Chis Dobson, Hosam's lawyer, would not comment on either the case or whether or not he is representing one of the four accused in court.

London police court liaison officer Sgt. Rick Niles confirmed that Dobson is representing Hosam. He added Hosam's brother is currently not represented.

While the investigation of the assault at the Wave is complete, London police are still working undercover and conducting surveillance operations for more possible suspects linked to the "preppy gang," O'Flaherty said.

The next court date for the four accused will be Nov. 5 to hear their pleas, Niles said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998