Teens face felonies for alleged holdup

A group of teens, including a star basketball player from a prestigious San Francisco preparatory school, is facing felony charges for allegedly holding up a day laborer with a plastic gun in San Mateo.

Teandre Hubbard, 18, of San Francisco, Ryan Nelson and Bernard Shipp, both 18 and from San Mateo, and an unnamed juvenile are charged with one felony count of robbery in the June 12 crime.

Hubbard, a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco and guard on the school’s varsity basketball team, also is facing a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a replica firearm.

If convicted, Hubbard could face up to five years and five months in state prison. His alleged accomplices face up to five years, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Authorities say the foursome was driving around San Mateo just after 5 p.m., looking for a pickup basketball game when they spotted three men walking home from a work site on the 100 block of 31st Avenue.

The teens allegedly bailed out of the car and approached one of the men. Hubbard then pressed a plastic gun into the victim’s stomach and demanded his money, Wagstaffe said. The alleged victim handed over $360.

One of the day laborers was able to note the vehicle’s license plate number after it sped away. The teens were arrested by San Mateo police at Nelson’s home about an hour later, Wagstaffe said.

None of the young men has a criminal record, Wagstaffe said. All have pleaded not guilty.

“This is just mystifying as to why these individuals would do this. It’s foolish and shortsighted” he said.

Hubbard’s defense attorney, Sarah Rief, said Hubbard’s arrest was “completely out of character.”

“He’s a great kid. My phone has been ringing off the hook since the arrest with support from basketball coaches and trainers and people in the community,” she said.

Randy Bessolo, who coaches Hubbard in a youth sports team calledthe Bay Area Warriors basketball club, described him as a diligent, thoughtful young man who is already getting courted by top universities.

“He’s one of the best players in The City and he’s got top college prospects,” Bessolo said. “The fact that he’s in trouble at all is an aberration. A misinterpretation of a prank is the only explanation that makes sense to me.”

Both Hubbard and Nelson, who is a former Hillsdale High School basketball player, are free on bail.

No information was available about the juvenile, who is a relative of Hubbard’s.

Shipp, also a Hillsdale High graduate, remains in San Mateo County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. His defense attorney, Eric Liberman, said his client is worried about the future.

“He’s very scared, very nervous,” Liberman said.

A preliminary hearing has been set for July 11 for Hubbard, Nelson and Shipp.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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