UAB robbery suspect arrested after turning himself in

UAB robbery suspect arrested after turning himself in

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The man accused of robbing four UAB students at gunpoint has been arrested after he turned himself in to authorities.

Roderick Bernard Gaston turned himself in to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office around 10:30 a.m. Monday. He had his attorney with him at the time.

Police say Gaston approached two males and two female students inside the 16th Street parking garage and then robbed them at gun point late in the evening on Monday, October 13.

Gaston is also accused of forcing the students to perform sexual acts on each other. Police have not confirmed the sex crime, citing privacy issues.

However, court documents obtained Saturday by FOX6 WBRC show Gaston is being charged with four counts of first degree sodomy as well as four counts each of first degree robbery and kidnapping.

On Friday, Birmingham police went to about 10 locations around the city where they thought Gaston might be located.

Police said Gaston's father was also very helpful in finally contacting his son and convincing him to turn himself in.

Birmingham police said they knew by Saturday that Gaston would turn himself in by Monday.

Each of Gaston's 12 charges has a $250,000 bond, bringing his total bond to $3 million.

This isn't the first time Gaston has been in trouble. A Department of Corrections official confirms that Gaston was just released from prison on June 30. He had been serving time after pleading guilty in 2010 to three robbery charges.

He had previously been jailed for a kidnapping conviction.

Gaston was currently out on three years' probations. A Jefferson County judge revoked that order on Friday.

UAB President Ray Watts sent out the following email after Gaston's arrest:

UAB Family,

There is another important update regarding the incident that occurred in the 16th Street parking deck Monday night. Roderick Gaston is now in custody with bail set at $3,000,000. As I said this week when we announced the $5,000 reward, we will do all we can to see that the individual guilty of this crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

Although this suspect is in custody, we will maintain the increased patrols and police presence I hope you have already noticed on campus. We continue to advise students, faculty and staff who are heading out at night to make use of the Blazer Express and safety escorts. Please note, my previous email included an inaccurate detail about the hours of operation for the Blazer Express bus service; updated/accurate information is below in bold text.

Effective Oct. 19, hours of door-to-door safety escorts, which can be arranged by calling 934-8772, have been extended to seven days a week, 9 p.m. (previously midnight) until 5:30 a.m. Blazer Express buses will continue to operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight (service will not end at 9 p.m.). While those are the hours of operation for these services offered through UAB Parking and Transportation, individuals in need of a safety escort from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. can arrange one with the UAB Police Department at 934-4434. Safety tips and contact information for services are available online at www.uab.edu/students/safety.

I continue to ask that you please be thoughtful and remember that those most affected by Monday night's event have a right to privacy and to be shown respect.

Sincerely,

Ray L. Watts, M.D.

President

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

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