2 charged with robbery, high-speed chase

Published 7:51 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Two Austin residents who allegedly participated in a robbery and led officers on a high-speed chase that reached 100 mph were charged Tuesday in Freeborn County District Court.

Joshua James Allen

Tony Viramonh is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Joshua James Allen, 31, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm.

Court documents state Viramonh and Allen were charged after Albert Lea police officers were dispatched at about 9 p.m. Sunday to an address on Second Street for a report of a burglary in progress. Officers were informed that a white SUV left the crime scene and handguns were involved.

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An officer reportedly saw a 2011 GMC Acadia leave the address. When the vehicle slowed, passenger Nicole Eisenmenger rolled out of the vehicle and was arrested. She will not be charged in the incident, according to the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office.

Tony Viramonh

One person who lived there said Viramonh and Allen came to the residence. He reportedly believed the victim was being beaten up and heard what he thought was a gunshot, court documents state.

The alleged victim reportedly carried a TV to a white SUV and told someone Viramonh and Allen robbed him with guns.

Allen and Viramonh knew the alleged victim.

The victim reportedly told an officer Allen grabbed him around the throat and pushed him into a wall before Viramonh pointed a 9mm handgun at his head. Allen reportedly took $200 from the victim’s pockets, released him and pulled out a handgun. The two men reportedly pistol-whipped the victim in the head and the chest, ordering him to put his TV in Allen’s vehicle.

Court documents state what appeared to be a bullet hole was found in the living room floor near the TV stand. A “mushroomed” bullet was reportedly found in the basement of the residence near the bullet hole in the floor.

In the chase that followed the alleged robbery, speeds reportedly reached 100 mph on Southeast Broadway Avenue while officers pursued with emergency lights and sirens activated. The vehicle reportedly made multiple turns and ran multiple stop signs during the chase that lasted more than 20 minutes and nearly 30 miles.

Court documents state the vehicle stopped when it ran over stop sticks placed in the road by an Albert Lea sergeant. Allen and Viramonh were arrested at gunpoint. Viramonh was allegedly the driver of the vehicle.

Viramonh has previous convictions for third-degree assault and terroristic threats. Allen has previous convictions for third-degree assault and felony domestic assault.   

Freeborn County Attorney David Walker argued conditional bail for Viramonh and Allen should be set at $100,000, noting the high speed chase and that Viramonh and Allen were arrested at gunpoint.

Lawyer Grant Sanders said conditional bail for Viramonh should be set at $10,000. He said though the allegations of the crime are serious, Viramonh has a poor financial situation and has family in Austin.

Schwab set conditional bail for Viramonh and Allen at $50,000.

He said Viramonh has three failures to appear.

Allen planned to fill out paperwork for a public defender.

Viramonh and Allen are next scheduled to appear July 5.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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