EXCLUSIVE: 'I can't wait to get my hands on him' - what mom of 23-year-old arrested in riots said of her son as dozens held by police during violence appear in court

  • Shomari Carter was one of series of defendants appearing in court in Baltimore after 235 arrests on Monday night 
  • Others at Hargrove courthouse included single mother of two who was kept in custody and gun criminal arrested day before sentence was to begin
  • Another man arrested in looted shop claimed he was just 'gawking' and man arrested 

The mother of one of the alleged Baltimore looters is so angry with her son that she can't wait to 'get her hands on him', a court heard today.

Violet Gordon is furious with her son Shomari Carter for driving 50 miles from their home in Virginia to allegedly take part in the unrest in Maryland.

The court heard that the 23-year-old throw rocks at firefighters during the worst night of trouble - as they tried to put out a blaze.

Carter's lawyer Gayle Robinson begged the court to let Miss Gordon, a nurse, address the court but was rebuffed.

Miss Robinson, said that Miss Gordon would have said that 'she wishes she was here in court so she could get her hands on him'.

Miss Robinson said that Miss Gordon would ask that her son be released immediately and would would 'kill him' if he didn't show up for future hearings.

Carter's case was one of dozens which appeared before the Hargrove court house in Baltimore today.

Three courtrooms were used to process all the alleged rioters who have been given bail as high as $500,000 in an apparent attempt to keep them off the streets.

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In his mother's sights: 23-year-old Shomari Carter's mother 

In his mother's sights: 23-year-old Shomari Carter's mother 

Court date: Dozens of cases were processed at the John Hargrove Sr District Court Building in Baltimore

Court date: Dozens of cases were processed at the John Hargrove Sr District Court Building in Baltimore

Some 201 adults and 34 juveniles were arrested during Monday night's violence that spread throughout the city over the death of Freddie Gray, who died after being arrested by Baltimore police.

Today defendants appeared by video link from Central Booking in Baltimore and ranged from young teens to grown men with jobs.

They were shown on a TV screen to the side of the court room and sat in chairs placed in a row as they waited to be dealt with one by one.

Most of them were unemployed or had low paying jobs and most lived with their mothers.

Among them was Carter - who lives with his mother - who was arrested at 2am on Monday night during the worst of the violence.

The court heard how he had no arrest history in Maryland but that earlier this year he had pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Virginia.

The prosecutor told the court that he was an 'extreme risk to public safety' because he was 'unlikely' to return to Virginia for future hearings in Maryland.

But Miss Robinson said that Carter's mother was a 'responsible' person and would make sure he attended.

She had made the drive from their home in Herndon, Virginia - just outside Washington D.C. - to be in court to speak on his behalf.

Miss Robinson said that Carter had in the past worked at an organic grocery store and that on Monday he was driven to Baltimore by a friend out of 'curiosity' and to take pictures.

Carter was released on $25,000 bail and Judge Kathleen Sweeney. Speaking outside the courtroom Miss Gordon declined to comment and said that she did not want her son's life ruined by his actions.

In the wake of the riots Baltimore's beleaguered justice system was put under the strain by the arrests and Maryland's governor Larry Hogan extended the 24 hour limit under which defendants must be charged, saying it was 'necessary to protect public safety'.

Total destruction: The burned out remains of the CVS Pharmacy, on the corner of West North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave. It was just one of the shops looted in the riots

Total destruction: The burned out remains of the CVS Pharmacy, on the corner of West North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave. It was just one of the shops looted in the riots

The scene as a fire started by the mob in CVS took hold
Message: The despair of one shopkeeper was spelled out on this message left on a looted store

Ablaze: The as fire took hold of the CVS after it was looted -and the protest left by one storeowner

In reality it seemed an attempt to ease the pressure on the courts - today one prosecutor told a judge that the morning had been a 'bit of a mess' as they tried to keep up.

The alleged rioter who got the $500,000 bail was a 19-year-old who was accused of eight offenses on Saturday night including rioting, theft and disorderly conduct.

He was jailed after being unable to make bail.

At the Hargrove Courthouse the other cases included that of Tyree Hughes, a slight man no older than his early 20s who wore a neat white shirt.

The court heard that he had been seen fleeing a Game Stop store with $800 worth of goods including an Xbox and a TV.

He was given $50,000 bail, a sum he has little chance of paying. 

The lawyer for another young man, Shane Smith, who was charged with burglary, tried to argue that he was simply standing in a store whilst others looted.

The lawyer said that 'gawking is not against the law' but Judge Sweeney was not convinced.

She said: 'Oh please. So you are saying once the place has been broken into it's OK to go in there and just look around?' 

Carnage: Police advance into a barrage of rocks, bricks and bottles while a car is set on fire during Monday night's riots in Baltimore

Carnage: Police advance into a barrage of rocks, bricks and bottles while a car is set on fire during Monday night's riots in Baltimore

Caught on camera: Looters fill their arms with items from the shelves of an unknown store during Monday's riots in Baltimore
Caught on camera: Looters fill their arms with items from the shelves of an unknown store during Monday's riots in Baltimore

Caught on camera: Looters fill their arms with items from the shelves of an unknown store during Monday's riots in Baltimore

Another defendant, Naji Ford, went out rioting the night before he was due to start serving a 10-day sentence on gun possession charges, the court heard.

Ford, a tall man in his early 20s who appeared wearing a black and white long sleeved top, was described as a 'extreme risk to public safety' as he was on bail at the time.

He was given $100,000 bail, a sum he is unlikely to be able to pay. He currently works for Mr Bubbles Power Wash, a cleaning company based in Baltimore.

Later on in the day in a different court room, a group of four women slumped over a table looking bored and dozy as they waited to be dealt with by a judge.

Tanika Hartison, 28, was accused of two counts of burglary and one count of theft and the court heard that she has three previous theft matters on her criminal record.

The mother-of-two, who is raising her children on her own after her husband died, was given no bond and remanded in custody.

No mention was made of who would take care of her children whilst she was in jail.

Her friend Regine Woolford, who had dyed pink hair, let out a whoop of joy and put her hands over her face in surprise after being released with no bail on two charges of burglary and one of malicious destruction of property.

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