Joseph Taylor, 21, accused of first robbing Delta Auto Wholesale on West 117th Street then firing at a customer, is out on a bond in which he paid $3,500. One of his alleged victims is speaking out in frustration and fear.
“I can’t believe it," said Scott Mast, manager at Delta Auto Wholesale. "I feel like the judge says my life is worth $3,500 letting this guy out on bail.”
It was Nov. 5 when Cleveland police say Taylor held Mast and an unidentified customer at gunpoint and robbed the used car dealership. Surveillance video shows the incident unfold.
“I had strong suspicions it was him," said Mast.
Mast said Taylor had just bought a car at the dealership 45 minutes before police say he returned as the gunman.
“I said a prayer in my mind, I just figured it was over," he added, recalling the moment that gun was put to his head.
Mast said Taylor stole $6,000. Then, as the customer ran out of the lobby in an effort to escape, video shows the suspect running after him. Court records indicate he fired at the customer but missed. The suspect got away.
In a strange twist of events, Taylor returned to the dealership's second location on Fulton Road five days later to pick up the car he purchased, which Mast said his mom dropped off for some repairs and an oil change.
That's when police arrested Taylor and charged him with aggravated robbery.
"This guy isn’t too bright obviously," said Mast. "He’s capable of pretty much anything.”
Court records indicate Taylor spent two days in jail and then was released on a $35,000 bond. He was responsible for paying 10% of that, or $3,500.
A court spokesman said Cleveland Municipal Judge Charles Patton granted the bond to Taylor because he has no prior convictions and therefore is not considered a flight risk.
News 5 attempted to interview Patton but he did not return our call.
Taylor's case has been bound over to Cuyahoga County court where it will be heard by a grand jury. A date has not been set.
"Guys like this, they should sit in jail until they get sentenced," said Mast. "I mean you got guys in county jail right now that are in there for less crimes. It’s ridiculous.”