New Castle News

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November 26, 2013

Another suspect charged in robberies

NEW CASTLE — An Edinburg man faces three conspiracy charges following an attempted armed robbery at El Dorado Motel.

Mark Anthony Ortiz, 28, of 2678 Benjamin Franklin Highway, is being held on $150,000 bond, charged with conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Shenango Township police were called to the El Dorado Motel at 2618 New Butler Road just before 11 p.m. Nov. 17. They were told two men had entered the motel lobby. One remained at the doorway and the other, carrying a black handgun, walked to the front desk. Both were dressed in black pants, jacket, gloves and masks covering their faces, the clerk said.

The clerk said the man pointed his gun and demanded money but she screamed and ran down the hallway toward the back of the motel. As she ran, the clerk told police, he fired two shots in her direction. She said the men tried to force open a door that led to behind the counter but then left.

The clerk said that prior to the robbery, a woman had entered the lobby inquiring about the price of a room. She told the clerk she did not have cash or identification on her and would return with them. The clerk said the woman did not return.

Shenango and New Castle police officers checked the lobby and recovered two spent 9 mm shell casings and found two bullet holes in the wall of the hallway.

On Thursday, a New Castle police officer contacted Shenango police and said he had been investigating a robbery — that also had occurred Nov. 17 — at the Tic Toc store on Highland Avenue in New Castle. He said Brian Misner, 23, and Dawn Wallace, 31, both of 117 Park Ave., had been taken into custody.

Misner was charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, prohibited possession of firearms, possession of a prohibited offensive weapon, possession of instruments of crime and terroristic threats. He is being held in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Shenango police charged Misner in connection with the motel robbery. He is facing charges of attempted criminal homicide, robbery, prohibited possession of a firearm, possession of a concealed firearm without a license, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. On those charges, his bond was set at $150,000.

Wallace was charged by Shenango police with robbery in connection with the motel case. She remains in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.

New Castle police did not charge Wallace.

Officers said Wallace had been read her Miranda rights, then told police Misner and a man known as “Rico” or “Reek” — later identified as Ortiz — had robbed the Tic Toc in New Castle and the El Dorado Motel in Shenango Township.

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