One of two men arrested Monday in the attempted robbery of two plainclothes University Police officers is back on the streets. Melvin Gore, 20, of the 2400 block of N. 26th Street, was arraigned yesterday on charges of armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault and simple assault. He was freed on bail just after his arraignment. University Police said although Gore's bail was set at $100,000, he was able to go free without putting up any money. Police spokesperson Sylvia Canada said Gore was released under a system known as "sign your own bail," or "S.O.B." to police. Under a conventional bail system, defendants must either turn over a specified amount of cash to the court or post a bond for that amount. If the defendant does not appear in court for hearings or trials, he or she loses this money. But under this system, Gore was allowed to simply "sign out" of jail, Canada said. University Police Detective Supervisor Michael Carroll said if Gore does not appear in court, he will "owe" the city the $100,000. Gore, who allegedly was to drive the get-away car in the robbery, is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday. "We're very frustrated by this but it happens," Canada said. Carroll said he does not know why the court allowed Gore to go free. "I have no idea," he said. "That's the court system. That's not up to me." Gore and another city resident, Omar Burnett, 19, of the 800 block of N. 15th Street, were arrested late Monday after a group of four men tried to rob two plainclothes University Police officers with what appeared to be a shotgun. The gun turned out to be fake. Canada said one of the officers shot Burnett in the hand after the man threatened to kill him. Burnett and Gore are facing the same charges. In a separate case, Canada said the man police believe is responsible for a string of stabbings in the University area is still in custody. Wayne Christian, 30, of West Philadelphia, was arraigned yesterday and is being held on $75,000 bail -- $25,000 for each of the stabbings he is charged with. "We're glad for that," Canada said. Christian is also suspected in three other stabbings near the University. A bail clerk at the city's main police station said yesterday that the "sign your own bail" system is commonly used in Philadelphia. The option is open only to defendants whom the bail commissioner designates as eligible, the clerk said. Canada said police do not know why Gore was able to gain his freedom so easily. Canada and Carroll speculated that the court cut down on restrictions against him since he did not participate in the actual robbery.Comments powered by Disqus
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