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Law and Order Lake County

Updated: December 17, 2012 4:40PM



Schererville

Man with gun enters, robs Zuni’s

A man carrying a gun robbed the Zuni’s Restaurant in Pine Island Sunday night, according to police.

At approximately 9:40 p.m. a black man entered Zuni’s, 5124 Pine Island Dr., through the rear entrance, armed with a silver hand gun. The man forced management to give him an undisclosed amount of cash, then fled through the rear entrance. No employees were injured.

Police have no suspects.

Illinois woman accused of store fire

Charges have been filed against a woman accused of starting a fire inside the Home Depot, 960 U.S. 41.

Linda S. Fondren, 56. of Calumet City, Ill., was charged with Criminal Mischief for attempting to start a fire inside store on Dec. 5.

Griffith

Pregnant woman assaulted by ex

Charges of criminal confinement, battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman and intimidation have been filed in Lake Superior Court against a 28-year-old Crown Point man.

Michael David Sweet, of the 6300 block of West 86th Court, is accused of battering his former girlfriend, who is more than 15 weeks pregnant, at her residence in the 1300 block of East Miller Street, Griffith.

The woman told police she had been staying in Hobart for a few days when she returned to the Miller Street address on Nov. 30. While she was taking out the trash, Sweet came in through the back door, threatened her, strangled her and put a hammer against her face before he punched her, causing her to lose consciousness. The woman was treated for a broken nose, concussion and bruises.

The woman said Sweet also punched her while she was at work in Schererville three weeks before the Nov. 30 incident.

The most serious of the charges is punishable by a sentence of six to 20 years.

Lake Station

Man gets six years for raping woman

A 22-year-old Lake Station man was sentenced Monday to six years for rape.

Jonathan Cowley admitted he raped the woman with whom he had been drinking alcohol on Feb. 22 and had sex with her while she was passed out at his home.

In an interview for his pre-sentence investigation report, Cowley told the probation officer he didn’t commit the crime and that the case “is a bunch of crap,” but when questioned by Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray, Cowley said he was aggravated and frustrated “at the situation” and that he had, in fact, committed the crime.

The plea agreement calls for Cowley to serve two years in custody, followed by four years on probation. Cowley also must register as a sex offender when he’s released from prison.

Deputy prosecutor Aleksandra Dimitrijevic read aloud a letter from the victim, who said she was hurt mentally and physically from the crime, suffers from nightmares and insomnia and finds it difficult to be social. She fell into a deep depression but is rebuilding her life and working to overcome the hurt and pain she feels.

Cowley had faced six to 20 years on the charge.

East Chicago

Sentence of work release, probation

Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray sentenced an East Chicago man to four years for burglary.

Gerard Hagan, 21, admitted he and co-defendant Jerome Jovan Watson broke into an apartment between 3:30 and 4 p.m. April 9 in the 4000 block of Pulaski Street in East Chicago. A neighbor alerted the owner that she had seen the two men stealing furniture and loading it onto a green truck. The owner retrieved his belongings and called police. As he was returning to his building, he saw the Hagan and Watson coming out of his building carrying a pair of shoes, jewelry, a laptop and other items. The owner chased the men and called police.

Deputy prosecutor Judy Massa argued for a five-year sentence and noted that Hagan was on probation when he committed the burglary.

Defense attorney Arlington Foley sought leniency, noting his client has enrolled at Ivy Tech State College and is attempting to better himself.

Murray ordered Hagan to serve three years in Lake County Community Corrections, with the remaining one year served on probation.

Man accused of molesting two girls

Two counts of child molesting have been filed in Lake Superior Court against a 60-year-old East Chicago man.

Jesse Jesus Pineda Sr., of the 500 block of Grove Street, is charged with molesting two girls between October 2000 and October 2012 in East Chicago.

A 5-year-old girl told police Pineda had fondled her on Oct. 6. The girl contracted herpes.

A 17-year-old girl told police Pineda molested her from when she was 4 or 5 years old until she turned 8.

Hammond

Teen gets 18 mos. for stabbing

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez sentenced a 19-year-old Hammond man to 18 months for criminal recklessness.

Jacob Matthew Bell admitted he stabbed Evan Vance in the chest and back on Jan. 29 in an alley in the 2600 block of 162nd Place, Hammond. On that day, Vance had agreed to meet with a woman for sex. Earlier that day, Bell and the woman had agreed to work together to physically attack Vance because of a past incident involving Bell and Vance. When Vance arrived, the woman began a conversation with him. While they were talking, Bell came up to Vance and a physical fight ensued between the two men. Bell pulled out a knife and stabbed Vance.

Bell was given credit for serving the sentence.



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