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Police nab suspect following downtown armed robbery

By Brandi Makuski

Stevens Point police are reporting another open-air armed robbery occurred on Monday morning, this one in the downtown district.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the corner of Center Point Dr. and Third St. at 1:21 a.m. after a man reported he’d been robbed of $250 during a pre-arranged drug deal.

The suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Antonio Cruz of Stevens Point, who has reportedly used a handgun during the robbery.

The Stevens Point SWAT responded to Cruz’ address, 1725 Fremont St., shortly after 10 a.m., with a search warrant to conduct a sweep of the residence. Cruz was located at the home, along with the cash he took and the clothing he wore during the robbery, and taken into custody; the handgun allegedly used during the crime was not recovered.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Rottier says the armed robbery occurred near the picnic tables at Mid-State. (Metro Wire photo)

Assistant Police Chief Mike Rottier said investigators were on the scene for a little under 90 minutes.

Cruz is currently in custody at the Portage Co. Jail, pending armed robbery charges. No information was immediately available on the victim.

One ambulance crew from the Stevens Point Fire Dept. was also on the scene as a precaution, according to Capt. Dennis Zvara, but no medical services were needed.

It’s the latest in a string of crime-related activity across the city. On July 18, police released information about a possible attempted abduction of a 14-year-old girl near Bukolt Park. Police said the girl was approached by a white male in his mid-30s, with a trimmed orange/brown beard, and a shaved head driving a “shiny black SUV”, but drove off when she dug through her backpack for a can of pepper spray. The man remains unidentified but is still wanted for questioning.

On July 14, the 13th Floor Canteen, a bar located at 1109 Park St., was robbed of more than $10,000 by two suspects, one who reportedly brandished a long gun. Police later determined the bartender working at the time of the robbery was involved. Charges are pending against all three, according to Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner.

Another armed robbery was reported shortly after midnight on June 12, when two men reportedly robbed another man at gunpoint on the sidewalk of the 1800 block of Wyatt Ave. Police are still investigating that crime, Zenner said.

Updates as we have them.