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Cold Case: Robert Meneses

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By Christopher J. Lyons

HARTFORD--On August 2, 2010 Robert Meneses, who was born on March 20, 1990, was in his driveway at 81 Ward Pl. in Hartford with several friends at 4:30 a.m. Robert and his friends were approached by two black men who had guns. The men announced that they were going to rob the group. One of the men was reported to yell “Run your pockets," which is street slang used by one suspect in his robbery attempt.

Several of the group fled on foot and others threw rocks at the two robbers, but the robbery took place and Robert was robbed by the two men. The “take” from this early-morning robbery was $15 and a cellular telephone. After the robbery was done the assailants fled on foot north on Hillside Avenue toward the address of 94-96 Hillside Ave., Hartford.

Robert pursued the two robbers to try to identify them, and as he did so, one of the robbers turned and fired three shots at him. One of the gunshots slammed into the right side of the Robert’s face, broke his teeth, and then the bullet traveled through his face exiting out the left side of his neck.

After being shot, Robert ran back to 81 Ward Pl. and was taken in a private vehicle to Hartford Hospital. En-route to the hospital, he lost an enormous amount of blood and when he arrived he was in critical condition. Doctors worked hard to save Robert and he was put on life support. Robert never regained consciousness and died on August 3, 2010 at 3:55 p.m.

Police secured the area between 81 Ward Pl. and 94-96 Hillside Ave. in Hartford as a crime scene. They located several 380 caliber shell casings at the scene. Police received a lot of information concerning the robbery and shooting and an anonymous caller identified one of the robbers by a street name of “Tapa.”

The suspects were described in the following manner:

1.     Black male with a silver handgun. His face was partially covered by a t-shirt. He was about 6-foot-1 and a thin build.

2.     Black male with a black handgun. His face was covered with a t-shirt. He was about 5-foot-8.

Police were able to identify persons of interest in the case, but didn’t get enough info to proceed with an arrest.

The case is over five years old and needs to be solved to bring justice to Robert and his family. When the segment was filmed on Monday, August 24, we found many neighborhood residents who remembered the crime. The current residents at 81 Ward Pl. knew many details of the crime but would not talk to us further for fear of being hurt themselves.

This was a senseless killing that needs to be solved. Robert Meneses lost his life at the young age of 20 for $15 and a cell phone.  The suspects need to be identified and properly charged and the Hartford Police need the public’s help to do so.

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