3 charged with felony robbery in stun gun assault

Victim sustains minor injuries, has small amount of cash taken

Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Three Juneau men have been arrested on felony robbery charges for allegedly assaulting a 40-year-old man with a stun gun, threatening him with a knife and taking his money Monday night.

Tillie Santos, 45, Rafael Lopez, 34, and Joseph Cropley, 40, were arrested Tuesday on charges of first-degree robbery, Class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Santos and Lopez also were each charged with once count of felony assault. Cropley also was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault.

Juneau Police Department received a report at about 10 p.m. Monday that a man was injured after being attacked by three men in the 8200 block of Glacier Highway. Police learned that the victim was riding in a car driven by a 36-year-old Juneau woman when some people they knew passed in another car. Both vehicles stopped where Glacier Highway ends and a bike path begins.

"As soon as they stopped everyone got out of the car and commenced the beating," JPD spokeswoman Cindee Brown-Mills said.

The victim was allegedly punched and kicked several times before Santos used a stun gun on him and Lopez held a knife to his face and threatened him. Santos, Lopez, and Cropley then drove away from the scene. The 36-year-old woman drove to a nearby building alone to call police.

The victim only sustained minor injuries, Brown-Mills said.

"He had mild abrasions and some scratches and lacerations and that sort of stuff," she said. "They took him to the hospital just as a precautionary measure but he was treated and released."

Police determined that the victim was an acquaintance of Santos, Lopez, and Cropley, Brown-Mills said.

"He knew them," she said. "He definitely knew them."

Police served several search warrants at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 8900 block of Mendenhall Loop Road. Officers interviewed several people and subsequently arrested Santos, Lopez and Cropley, according to police. All three men were lodged in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Although it was determined that alcohol was not a factor in the robbery, it is still unclear as to why the assault happened in the first place.

"There was a small amount of cash and some personal items taken from him," Brown-Mills said. "There's really no indication either way whether or not there were drugs involved. We don't have information about that."

Santos, Lopez and Cropley were arraigned Tuesday afternoon and had their bail set at $50,000 each.

• Contact reporter Eric Morrisonat 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

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