Lake prosecutors slap Portage man with 17 felonies in alleged robbery

2012-06-04T18:30:00Z 2012-06-05T12:13:57Z Lake prosecutors slap Portage man with 17 felonies in alleged robberyBy Susan Brown, (219) 662-5325

CROWN POINT | Prosecutors on Monday charged a Portage man with 17 felonies alleging he demanded $3,000 while threatening to kill all six occupants, two of them babies, in a Lake Station residence.

Alerted to a possible robbery in progress, police arrived sometime after midnight Sunday to a residence in the 3300 block of Iowa Street to find Juan Abeyta, 24, in the house with two men and two women, all in their underwear, court records state. In the women's arms were two 1-year-old children.

The victims told police they were held at gunpoint by Abeyta, who stole electronics and threatened to kill everyone, including the children, if he wasn't given $3,000.

Abeyta is alleged to have entered the house through the back door with a shotgun, ordering the adults to strip to their underwear or be killed before entering a bedroom where the two babies were sleeping.

Pointing a gun at a baby's head, Abeyta said he'd shoot both babies, kill the men, and rape and kill the women, court records state.

Police said Abeyta admitted to knowing one of the victims had just gotten paid and also knowing to go through the back door because he had once lived there.

Abeyta also admitted threatening to kill the babies because it was a robbery, court records state.

Abeyta is charged with six counts of confinement, four counts of robbery, six counts of intimidation and a single count of residential entry.

Court records say he was taken into custody by Lake Station police. Bond is set at $200,000.

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