Edgartown police arrest two on prostitution charges


Edgartown police arrested two people for prostitution, assault, and theft, following a bizarre encounter at 4:30 am, Wednesday morning.

Police went to a home on 18th Street after they received a call from a man who said he was the victim of an assault.

When police arrived, the man, whom police declined to identify because the investigation is still active, said that a woman assaulted him in his house, then she and another man stole his mobile phone, wallet, and laptop computer. After further questioning, the victim told police he invited the woman to his house after responding to an advertisement for escort services, posted in an online classified directory.

“He went on Craigslist and ordered up some companionship,” Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby told The Times in a telephone interview Wednesday. “She was over here, based on the Craigslist ad. The victim did pay her an agreed upon amount of money.”

That amount was $1,800, police confirmed.

While on that call, police received a report from a neighbor on 18th Street, complaining about intoxicated people making a disturbance in the street. When officers arrived at the house farther down 18th Street, they found a vehicle with a smashed window.

The neighbor said that after he called police, he went out and asked the couple, a man and a woman, to move along.

“The female yelled (epithet), picked up a rock, and threw it at the neighbor’s vehicle,” Det. Sgt. Dolby said. The pair then fled into the woods.

Police searched for several hours, and located the couple in the woods just after dawn. Police said they were the same pair accused of the earlier assault. Police said the couple had the stolen items with them.

Police arrested Gabriel Rios-Leon, who gave an address in Rockaway, New Jersey, for receiving stolen property and deriving support from the earnings of a prostitute.

Also arrested was Shannon Owens, 27, of Providence, Rhode Island. She was charged with assault, receiving stolen property, and sexual conduct for a fee. At first, Ms. Owens refused to cooperate with police and would not provide a name or an address.

She later provided police with the name and age of Brianna Owens, 20, her sister.

Mr. Rios-Leon was held on $5,000 bail, following booking at the Dukes County Jail. Ms. Owens was held on $3,000 bail.

Correction: The print version of this story identified Shannon Owens, 27, as Brianna Owens, 20. Shannon Owens originally provided the name of her sister to police.