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2 men face charges in Merrillville Portillo’s armed robbery

Updated: January 19, 2014 12:02PM



MERRILLVILLE — Two Gary men face multiple charges in connection with an armed robbery at Portillo’s restaurant Sunday night in which three employees suffered minor injuries and about $3,500 in cash was taken.

Marcus Ervin, 42, and William Ward-Bey, 61, each faced armed robbery, robbery resulting in bodily injury and criminal confinement charges.

Ervin and Ward-Bey gained entry into the restaurant about 11 p.m. Sunday by posing as delivery persons, according to court documents. Portillo’s was closed for the night, but the two men were allowed in through the service door, the documents state.

Once inside, the two men, both of whom wielded handguns, handcuffed two employees and forced them to lay face-down on the floor, according to court documents.

The store manager told police the men then went to the business office of the restaurant, removed a panic button from around the manager’s neck, handcuffed his arms behind his back, covered his eyes with duct tape, put him on the floor and demanded the combination to the safe.

All three employees sustained arm and shoulder injuries when the two men picked them off the floor with the handcuffs.

Police said several officers responded to the panic alarm and found two men leaving the building.

Ervin was apprehended during a foot chase after slipping and falling.

Ward-Bey was captured a few minutes later while trying to run up a hill, police said.

Ward-Bey had the cash and manager’s missing panic button on him at the time, court records state.

Bond was set at $110,000 for each man.

Ervin was convicted of robbery in Indianapolis in 1995 and Ward-Bey was convicted of burglary in 1970, two counts of robbery in 1971 and murder during a robbery in 1985, according to court documents.



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