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Man faces home detention, probation after admitting he shot into air after fight at restaurant

Man faces home detention, probation after admitting he shot into air after fight at restaurant

Manuel Jeronimo Jr.

Manuel Jeronimo Jr.

CROWN POINT — A Griffith man pleaded guilty Monday to a felony criminal recklessness charge alleging he fired a gun into the air during a fight last year outside a Schererville restaurant.

Manuel Jeronimo Jr., 26, was accused of starting the fight inside the El Salto restaurant off U.S. 41 about 2 a.m. June 16 by telling a man holding a purse for a woman while she used the restroom, "nice purse," records state.

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The man replied, "You wish you had it," and exchanged words with Jeronimo, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

In a plea agreement, Jeronimo admitted he drove up as the man, woman and a second man stood among a crowd outside the restaurant, got out of his car and fired a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun into the air five to eight times.

Jeronimo initially was charged with battery by means of a deadly weapon, intimidation, pointing a firearm, three counts of criminal recklessness and two misdemeanor counts of battery resulting in bodily injury.

He pleaded guilty Monday to one count of criminal recklessness, a level 5 felony.

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If Judge Salvador Vasquez accepts his plea, he could face a sentence of six months on home detention, followed by a year on probation.

Vasquez set Jeronimo's sentencing hearing for March 16.

Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Grindlay handled the case for the state. Jeronimo is represented by attorney Alexander Lopez.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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