M'ville Portillo's employees bound during robbery

2013-12-16T17:00:00Z 2013-12-17T10:18:23Z M'ville Portillo's employees bound during robberyChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
December 16, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Two Gary men accused of robbing the Merrillville Portillo's restaurant and confining employees allegedly gained entrance to the building by acting as delivery people, police said.

After the restaurant was closed late Sunday, a manager allowed two men to enter the business through a service door.

The manager told police the men, who claimed they were delivery people, displayed handguns, handcuffed two employees and forced them to the floor.

Police reported the men took a panic button that was around the manager's neck, handcuffed him and covered his eyes with duct tape.

The men forced the manager to provide the combination to the restaurant's safe, according to court documents. About $3,500 was removed, the documents state.

Each of the employees told police they suffered pain after the men hyper-extended their arms and shoulders by grabbing the handcuffs.

When officers arrived, the two suspects were fleeing the restaurant.

During a foot pursuit, police caught one of the suspects at a nearby Shell gas station, police said. That person was identified as Marcus Ervin, 42.

The other suspect, later identified as William Ward-Bey, 61, was caught while he was attempting to climb a snowy hill, police said. He had about $3,500 and the missing panic button in his possession, police said.

Ward-Bey allegedly fought with an officer, and his head struck the pavement during the altercation. He was taken to Methodist Hospital Southlake Campus for treatment.

Police said a vehicle belonging to one of the suspects was located in the Deluxe Inn parking lot -- near the Portillo's restaurant.

Ervin and Ward-Bey each face armed robbery, robbery resulting in bodily injury and criminal confinement charges in connection to the case.

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