Police Notes: June 5

June 5, 2013

Pet store robbery suspect

could face federal charges

The U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking federal charges against a Milwaukee man who was arrested for armed robbery at a local pet store last month.

According to a Greenfield police report:

The man was arrested after he entered Petco, 4950 S. 76th St., pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded money shortly after the business closed for the day May 13.

The suspect then pushed the employee into a front office, where the store manager was counting money, forced both the employee and manager to the floor, then threatened and kicked them several times before binding their hands and feet with zip ties.

While the robbery was in progress, another employee ran to the back receiving area of the store and dialed 911. As a result, Greenfield police were waiting for the suspect as he fled the store with a bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect, who was wearing a black ski mask, dropped his weapon and money bag, pulled off his mask and surrendered when he realized he was surrounded by police.

After questioning the suspect and witnesses, Greenfield police contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation with details of the incident. The FBI agent called back several hours later and stated the U.S. Attorney's Office was interested in prosecuting the crime and would possibly be issuing federal indictment against the suspect.

Motel guest arrested

after knife incident

A 65-year-old man is facing a felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety after he allegedly became intoxicated, accused local motel managers of being "terrorists" and threatened them with a steak knife.

Martin B. Shapiro, whose address was listed as Bayside on court documents but who reportedly had been staying at the Hideaway Inn in Greenfield, was formally charged June 3 in Milwaukee County District Court for an incident that occurred on May 30.

According to the police report:

At about 9:15 p.m., dispatch received a 911 call from a screaming woman who stated that a man just threatened her with a knife at motel, 5105 S. 27th St. The woman asked for police to come quickly because the man with the knife was out in the parking lot with her husband and she feared for his life.

An officer arrived at the motel within less than a minute and observed a man running through the parking lot towards Edgerton Avenue, with another man running about 10 feet behind him holding a steak knife in his hand. The officer recognized the assailant as a resident of the inn due to previous complaint calls from earlier that day.

When the officer drew his gun and ordered both men to the ground, Shapiro started running away from the officer, ignoring his commands. After Shapiro refused repeated demands to stop and drop his weapon, the officer pulled out his Taser and stunned him. Another officer on the scene placed handcuffs on the suspect and took him into custody.

According to the police log, the arresting officer responded to the Hideaway Inn twice on May 30.

The first call from the Hideaway came in at 5:35 p.m., when Shapiro called police to complain about the managers of the inn. Shapiro stated he was upset because management told him not to walk around the lot with his shirt off because they were "Indian." Police spoke to one of the managers, who stated she only told him to quiet down because he gets loud when he's intoxicated. The responding officer advised Shapiro about his behavior and left the scene.

A couple hours later the officer was again dispatched to the inn after the manager called to report Shapiro was harassing her. The manager stated the suspect was constantly making racial slurs towards her, calling her a "terrorist" and telling her to go back to her own country. The officer warned Shapiro , who was extremely intoxicated, that if police received one more complaint about him he would be arrested.

After he was taken into custody, the suspect told police he approached the managers with a steak knife later on that evening because he "wanted to stop them because they are terrorists," according to the report.

Shapiro was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing June 11 on the second-degree recklessly endangering safety charge.

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