Teenage Terror: Lancaster Juvenile Sentenced for Armed Robbery in Manor Shopping Center Incident

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LANCASTER, PA — In a chilling case that gripped Lancaster City, a teenage boy has been sentenced to 2-5 years in prison following an armed robbery incident that took place in September 2023 near the Manor Shopping Center. The youth, identified as 16-year-old Jovani Colon, entered a guilty plea to charges of robbery – threatening immediate serious bodily injury, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm by a minor, and terroristic threats.

The sentence was handed down by Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker on February 15, 2024.

The crime occurred on the evening of September 25, 2023, when the Manheim Township Police Department received a distress call from the victim’s home. The victim reported that around 6:40 p.m., he had been riding his gas-powered minibike along the 1200 block of Millersville Pike, opposite the Manor Shopping Center, when he was accosted by a group of three males.

One of the individuals in the group was recognized by the victim as Colon, known by his nickname, “Swervo.” Sensing trouble, the victim quickly disabled his minibike using a kill switch and dislodged the drive chain from the sprocket, rendering it immobile.

According to the victim, Colon approached him, hands unnaturally buried in his pockets. As he neared, Colon produced a black semi-automatic handgun from his pocket, aimed it at the victim’s head, and demanded he dismount the minibike immediately. Adding to the victim’s terror, Colon followed his demand with a chilling ultimatum: “You’ve got 10 seconds to run or I’m going to blow your head off.”

Fearing for his life, the victim fled the scene on foot, glancing back only to see Colon fruitlessly attempting to start the immobilized bike. The victim later returned to the scene with his father to retrieve the bike, which was found in the general vicinity of where it had been left.

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Five days after the incident, police interviewed Colon, who admitted his participation in the crime. He justified his actions by stating he believed the victim was associated with another male with whom he had previous issues.

Assistant District Attorney Janie Swinehart filed and prosecuted the charges against Colon. The Manheim Township Police Department Officer Kenneth Smith was responsible for filing the charges.

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