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3 Gonzaga students attacked in early-morning robbery

UPDATED: Thu., May 10, 2012, 6:18 p.m.

Tayone D. Akers, 20 (Washington Department of Corrections)
Tayone D. Akers, 20 (Washington Department of Corrections)

A Gonzaga University graduate student was beaten unconscious when he tried to stop two women from stealing his friend’s purse early Thursday.

Spokane police tracked the suspects using a GPS program in an iPhone stolen from the victims.

Arrested were Tayone D. Akers, 20, Anthony J. Walker, 20, and Ronald R. Scott, 18, and two 16-year-old girls.

Victims Ann Shaffer and Alicia Bowers, who also are Gonzaga students, told police they were crossing North Standard Street at East Sinto Avenue about 2 a.m. when an SUV pulled up and two females jumped out and demanded their purses.

Bryan Rinkus, 25, tried to intervene, but Akers and Walker jumped out of the SUV and attacked him, police say.

Bowers, who also reported being assaulted, activated a tracking program on her iPhone and helped officers track the phone, which was stolen along with her purse, wallet, credit and debits cards, passport, keys, Gonzaga student ID card and gift cards.

Shaffer reported losing a camera in the attack.

Officers tracked the phone to a vehicle at North Freya Street and East Olive Avenue. They stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Scott, according to court documents.

Bowers’ iPhone was making noise near the driver’s side door when officers approached the car, according to court documents.

A juvenile in the vehicle directed police to 3301 N. Lincoln St., where they found the stolen purse.

The stolen items were returned to the victims, and the suspects were jailed on robbery and assault charges. Rinkus was hospitalized but has since been released and is recovering. He told The Spokesman-Review he as little memory of the incident.

Akers has an extensive criminal story that includes a conviction for second-degree assault. In that case, Akers was accused of choking his ex-girlfriend last May and trying to hit her and her sister with his car.

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