Former bakery associates run afoul of the law
By Josh Richman and Mary Fricker, The Chauncey Bailey Project
As the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery’s last CEO faces charges in the 2007 killings of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey and two others, bakery associates recently have run afoul of the law again, police said.
Three former Your Black Muslim Bakery associates are among those charged in a New Year’s Eve attack on an East Oakland man. In a separate case, another is back in prison after violating parole, arrested April 20 at the new Your Community Café & Bakery, which is run by another former Your Black Muslim Bakery associate, police said.
In the attack, Dahood Sharieff Bey, 36; Basheer Fard Muhammad, 56; Ajuwon Fardjamaal Muhammad, 24; and Jonathan Maurice Moore, 27, were charged last month with battery with serious bodily injury and criminal threats. Bey and Basheer Muhammad were arrested and subsequently freed on $50,000 and $55,000 bail, respectively; they’re due back in court May 11. Ajuwon Muhammad — who is Basheer Muhammad’s son — and Moore — whose connection to the bakery, if any, is unknown — remain wanted men.
Police case notes say Jerome Muhammad reported Bey led eight to 12 men in attacking him Dec. 31 at the home he rented on Hamilton Street.
“One suspect sat on top of him while the others beat him,” the notes say, adding Ajuwon Muhammad allegedly told Jerome Muhammad “that if he retaliated in any way they would kill him” and also “had grabbed a pair of pliers and threaten (sic) to rip out his tongue and pull out his teeth.” The victim told police his assailants threw all of his personal property out of the residence, evicting him.
“It’s just a coincidence that bakery people happened to be involved,” Alameda County deputy public defender Richard Foxall, Basheer Muhammad’s attorney, said Friday. “There’s no connection to anything to do with Chauncey Bailey, the bakery, anything like that.”
Foxall said it was his impression that one of the four defendants might have been rooming with the victim and got into a dispute about that. “It’s a really unglamorous case.”
Jeffrey Fletcher, Dahood Bey’s attorney, said Friday he’s “still investigating the case” and so can’t comment on what happened that night, but he emphasized that his client “has not had any real association with the bakery organization for almost 15 years. He’s long gone. “… There’s no connection whatsoever between Yusuf (Bey) IV and his associates and my client at all.”
Ajuwon Muhammad — one of Dahood Bey’s co-defendants in the case — was charged along with Your Black Muslim Bakery’s final CEO, Yusuf Bey IV, and Dyamen Williams, in a case involving alleged attempts to open a bank account and buy cars with bogus IDs; he was convicted in August of filing a false financial statement and sentenced to five years of probation.
Williams and Ajuwon Muhammad also were arrested together in October 2006 in San Jose after police saw Muhammad throw a 9 mm handgun from a car. Muhammad was arrested after a brief struggle, according to an Oakland officer’s affidavit describing the San Jose police report: “Muhammad stated that he wished officers had ‘put a bullet in him’ because he wanted to be a martyr.” Muhammad fled town but was arrested in St. Louis in December 2007 and extradited to face the San Jose charges; he pleaded guilty to felony possession of stolen property and misdemeanor carrying a loaded firearm, and was sentenced in April 2008 to 198 days in jail with credit for time served and three years of probation.
Fletcher acknowledged Ajuwon Muhammad remains tied to the bakery organization’s younger generation, but “just look at the age difference between my client and him — they’re not associates” and their mutual involvement in this case is a fluke.
Ajuwon Muhammad also currently faces two counts of receiving stolen property in San Joaquin County; he missed a March court date for that case, and so a warrant has been issued there for his arrest, too.
Basheer Muhammad was one of several Your Black Muslim Bakery associates charged in 1994 with assault, robbery and false imprisonment for an attack allegedly over a real-estate deal gone bad; he served 71 days in jail and three years of probation. But he failed to appear for six meetings with his probation officer before he and several bakery associates were charged with battery in 1997 after police say they beat a resident of the apartment building he managed after an argument between their children; that case led to one year of probation.
Dahood Bey, also known as Attila Colar, in 2002 was charged with three counts of false imprisonment by violence; two counts each of assault with an assault weapon or machine gun and making criminal threats; and one count each of second-degree robbery and possession of an assault weapon after an altercation with his ex-girlfriend, her new beau and her brother. He pleaded no contest to a single felony criminal-threats count and was sentenced to three years of probation; upon completion, a judge in 2006 retroactively reduced the felony to a misdemeanor and then retroactively dismissed the case.
Meanwhile, Your Black Muslim Bakery associate Gary Larue Popoff, 41, is back behind bars.
Popoff, who has been in and out of prison several times since 1987 with convictions for robbery, grand theft and petty theft, last year pleaded no contest to being a felon in possession of a firearm; Berkeley police who stopped a car driven by bakery associate Tamon Halfin in June 2007 had found a loaded, unregistered 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in a bag between Popoff’s feet.
Halfin was among those charged in the 2005 liquor-store vandalism spree Bey IV is accused of leading, and eventually pleaded guilty to vandalism; he’s also charged, along with Bey IV and others, in the May 2007 kidnapping and torture of two Oakland women.
Popoff got out of prison in late December, but was arrested on a parole-violation warrant April 20 at 4501 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Oakland, the site of Your Community Café.
The bakery opened for business in January with Jamall Robinson as its CEO. Joseph Jamall Robinson, 23, also known as Jamal Bey or Yasir Hakeem Azzem, also was charged in the 2005 liquor-store vandalism case, although the charges against him were dropped in 2007; a police report related to that case indicated he had done security work for a firm associated with the bakery.
Robinson said Popoff has been working at the cafe and committed no new crimes, but rather just missed a call or appointment with his parole officer. “He’s actually trying to make an effort and change himself,” he said, adding he’ll welcome Popoff back as an employee when he gets out of prison again.
Asked whether any other former Your Black Muslim Bakery associates are involved with the new cafe, Robinson replied that Bey IV’s mother, Daulet Bey, “bakes our products. “… She’s a very nice lady.”
Bay Area News Group-East Bay staff writer Mike Martinez contributed to this story.