Armed robbery suspect pleads not guilty to charges

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The second man who authorities believe was involved in an armed robbery on South Washington Avenue last July pleaded not guilty in Freeborn County District Court Tuesday to all the charges against him in the case.

Twenty-four-year-old Hiram Abel Rodriguez-Reyes, of Austin, pleaded not guilty to six charges, including aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery, first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, first-degree burglary with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary while committing an assault, and two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon stemming from the early morning of July 16, 2009.

Court records state Rodriguez-Reyes accompanied Joshua Quincy Hill of Albert Lea to 709 S. Washington Ave., at which time Hill forced his way into the apartment and pointed a gun at a woman and man and requested their money.

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Rodriguez-Reyes allegedly took a baseball bat from the woman — who was reportedly swinging it to protect her brother — and hit her TV with it and broke the bat. After he did that, he picked up the pieces of the bat and left.

The two men fled in a Chevy Malibu — Rodriguez-Reyes was reportedly the driver — however, when an officer did a U-turn to pull up behind the vehicle, Rodriguez-Reyes pulled over the car, got out of the car and ran, according to reports.

Rodriguez-Reyes reportedly escaped authorities after the alleged robbery but was arrested by warrant March 26.

Hill attempted to run also but was ordered to the ground and arrested. He has since pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and was sentenced in May to 78 months in prison for the incident.

High speed chase, fleeing officers

On Tuesday in Freeborn County District Court, Rodriguez-Reyes also pleaded not guilty to five counts dating back to an incident in May 2009.

The counts included fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, driving after suspension and speeding.

The charges stem from just after 6:30 a.m. May 17, 2009, when Rodriguez-Reyes allegedly was involved with a high-speed chase with an Albert Lea police officer, going as fast as 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, according to court records.

The chase ended when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle while attempting to make a turn and struck a utility pole.

He then got out of the car and ran until the officer caught up with him, shocked him with a Taser and then arrested him.

Officers noted an odor of alcohol on his breath, and he was tested for alcohol concentration.