Teens found guilty in deadly Waverly attack

Posted at 9:16 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2017-02-06 12:35:37-05

A Baltimore judge found two teenagers guilty of robbery, assault and theft in connection to a deadly attack on a cyclist in Waverly.

Antwan Eldridge, 18, and Daquan Middleton, 17, are facing up to 55 years in prison for the roles they played in a brutal attack on 29-year-old cyclist Robert Ponsi. They were acquitted of murder charges.

READ MORE: Third teen arrested in murder of Waverly man riding his bike home from work

A third suspect, who was 15 at the time of the January 2016 attack, is being tried in juvenile court.

Court records show that around 9 p.m. on Jan. 9 officers responded to the 3300 block of York Road for a stabbing. Police found the victim, Robert Ponsi, lying on the sidewalk with stab wounds to his neck and chest. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Police said Ponsi was was riding his bike home Saturday night after getting off work at The James Joyce Pub in Harbor East.  Just after 9 p.m., and minutes from home, he was surrounded by a group.  A few witnesses saw it all happen near the intersection of Old York Road and Venable Avenue in Waverly.

"He had his bike in his hands, he was waving it at the guys, he was trying to get away from them but they kept circling him, they wouldn't leave him alone," one man said.  “They were yelling obscenities and threatening him, saying what they were going to do to him.”

Charging documents say the group started punching and kicking Ponsi, then one teen pulled out a large knife and started stabbing him.  The group stole his cell phone and bicycle before running away.     

Shortly after the attack, police found Eldridge and Middleton a few blocks away. After leading officers to the victim's bike, Eldridge was taken to police headquarters, where he waived his Miranda rights and stated that he and Middleton attacked the victim. Middleton, who was stabbed on his right calf during the scuffle, admitted being one of the attackers.

"Robert Ponsi did not deserve to lose his life that night," said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. "It's disheartening to think that this man's choice of transportation cost him his life. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of a case, we can ensure the requisite process in our pursuit of justice; and, I am thankful that these defendants had to go through the process and will spend time behind bars for their reckless behavior that led to an innocent man's death."

Editor's note:  A previous version of this story included the name of the third co-defendant arrested in this case. The teen was initially charged as an adult in January 2016, but won a petition to have the case sent to the juvenile system.

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