Naem’s Grocery (Naem Gro) in Artesia had a very busy night last Sunday when three separate incidents occurred within the span of a couple of hours.
At approximately 8:22 p.m. Ricardo Robinson, 25, of 300 Holly Hills Road #141 called E-911 telling dispatchers that he had been stabbed at the Naem Gro , located at 101 Front Street in Artesia, during a fight and was on his way to the hospital. Dispatchers asked Robinson if he wanted to be met by an ambulance but he refused. According to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Greg Wright, Robinson suffered a cut during the incident.
The building that houses Naem Gro is owned by Constable Sonny Sanders. The shop’s proprietor, Ahmad Osman, told officers that he was sitting behind the counter when several men came into the store and began to fight but Osman did not know what exactly happened or who the men were. Deputies found blood in the back room that had been mopped up prior to their arrival.
Deputies responded to the Naem Gro to investigate and, according to on-scene officers, they were unable to find anyone that had been involved. They did, however, discover what appeared to be splatters of blood on the floor that had been cleaned up prior to their arrival
Shortly later, at about 9:06 p.m., deputies found themselves back at the Naem Gro in response to another fight. When arriving on scene, they found Mario Brown, of 149 Front Street in Artesia, disoriented and bleeding. According to Wright, Brown was confused on scene and stated several times “Why did they jump on me?”
Store owner Osman said that in this incident, Brown was standing in the store when three men jumped on him and hit him in the face with a beer bottle. The group moved outside and Mario Brown’s brother, Eugene Brown, of 102 Robert Street in Artesia, was also assaulted there.
Mario Brown was transported to BMH-GT for his head wounds.
While on scene investigating the two assaults, officers saw gambling machines through a gap in a locked door in the back room of the Naem Gro. When deputies tried to enter the room, they found the door locked and Osman denied having the keys. Osman finally admitted to having the keys to the door and once the door was unlocked, four gambling machines were discovered.
The gambling machines, Queen Bee, Video Redemption and Cherry Master, had a total of $1086 inside. Osman denied owning the illegal machines and also claimed they had been installed the day before. However, sources close to The Packet say the machines had been in the store for quite some time.
The machines and two pool tables were hidden behind a make shift plywood wall, equipped with a locked door. Once entering the grocery store, the high rollers would walk to the back of the building, passing the candy and chip display, to enter the gambling den.
No one was arrested in connection with the machines, but a fine for having them can be up to $500.
Sanders was on scene and helped the deputies remove the machines from the property.